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Empowering retailers for the future of digital commerce

Of all industries, retail is undergoing one of the most significant digital transformations. Various forms of computing are rapidly becoming embedded in every aspect of retail, from corner stores to the world’s largest retailers. Revenue from digital commerce is growing five times faster than from in-store sources, and global digital commerce sales now comprise 16.4 percent of total retail sales.

At the National Retail Federation (NRF) conference next week in New York, Microsoft will unveil our latest solutions to empower retailers all over the world to take advantage of this transformation. Central to these announcements will be our new vision for digital commerce and the toolkit that enables it. Our goal is to be a technology ally to the retail industry, to help retailers thrive — with more relevant and optimised e-commerce experiences, enhanced shopper-level personalisation and expanded monetisation opportunities. Today, we are announcing two new Microsoft solutions for retailers that do precisely that: Microsoft PromoteIQ and Microsoft Bing for Commerce.

Introducing Microsoft PromoteIQ

One of our key offerings for retailers is the Microsoft PromoteIQ commerce marketing platform. This is the next step in our journey of evolving our digital commerce offerings since announcing the acquisition of PromoteIQ in August 2019. Using Microsoft PromoteIQ, retailers can now dramatically increase revenue from their digital vendor marketing programs, while remaining fully in control of monetisation and engaging brand partners.
 
Commerce marketing is a highly effective way for retailers to create powerful new high-margin revenue streams that can fund innovation elsewhere in their businesses, as well as provide brands with a powerful toolkit to market their products to shoppers. But competing for brand dollars with other marketing solutions can be daunting. Microsoft PromoteIQ helps make it easy by delivering an end-to-end commerce marketing platform with enterprise-grade capabilities to manage and scale vendor-funded digital marketing — whether on-site or off-site. The platform includes an extensive analytics suite to deliver audience insights and help brands understand incremental sales lift. It also includes integration with Microsoft Advertising, which opens up a powerful new source of incremental demand for retailers. With Microsoft PromoteIQ, a retailer remains fully in control and is finally able to turn commerce marketing into an essential growth engine for their business, funding new capabilities and innovations while strengthening their partnership with vendors and brands.

The Home Depot did just that. The world’s largest home improvement retailer needed to maximise the 170M monthly visits to homedepot.com, the fifth-largest ecommerce site in the U.S. They partnered with PromoteIQ to integrate a commerce marketing platform to manage and scale vendor-funded digital marketing efforts. Since the program launched in early 2019, customer engagement has increased by 35 percent and promoted products have seen double-digit growth compared to 2018. Numbers tell an important piece of the story, but it’s also great to see that the customer and vendor relationships are now stronger than ever. Customers are presented with relevant advertising for products they may need for their home improvement projects, and even may see content for complementary projects like décor to complete their room. Vendor partners now have enhanced marketing controls to drive better conversion, increase visibility, and learn from real-time performance insights.
 
Microsoft PromoteIQ offers great solutions to help retailers — and brands as well. For brands, the Microsoft PromoteIQ platform provides a robust offering for comprehensively managing advertising campaigns with key retailer partners, across campaign management, targeting, optimisation and analytics. 
 
At NRF we’ll showcase customer examples and show the Microsoft PromoteIQ platform. If you are interested in learning more about the Microsoft PromoteIQ commerce marketing platform, please visit www.promoteiq.com.

Introducing Microsoft Bing for Commerce

Another important introduction for retailers is our new solution for an essential enabler of digital commerce: product search. Today’s shoppers expect convenience, to the point that 80 percent of them will abandon a site that produces poor search results. Microsoft Bing for Commerce is an intelligent search, personalisation and product recommendation solution that helps gives retailers the power to meet today’s shopper expectations and grow revenue, thanks to more relevant and customised results that drive conversions.
 
Retailers can now leverage the power of Bing intelligence and Microsoft AI to searches on their websites, applying insights from millions of shoppers around the world. This puts advanced query understanding into the hands of retailers — helping to decipher the natural human language of shoppers on their sites and create a shorter path between shoppers and the product they’re seeking. 
 
Microsoft Bing for Commerce includes product recommendations that are relevant and personalised, as well as visual search innovation that helps satisfy emerging shopping behavior. Microsoft Bing for Commerce offers all of these intuitive capabilities on PC and mobile and does this with Microsoft’s dedicated approach to privacy and data compliance.
 
Microsoft Bing for Commerce is now available in public preview for large retailers as a stand-alone offering and will soon be available as a part of Dynamics 365 Commerce. More information is available at www.microsoft.com/bing/commerce.
 
It’s a time of unprecedented growth and transformation for the retail industry. We’re excited to see our partners and customers grow their businesses by taking advantage of the opportunities in digital commerce.
 
If you are at NRF next week, please visit us at the Microsoft booth on Level 3, #4051.