• Isabelle Allen, Partner |

As we begin a new year, the retail sector continues to experience significant transformation.

As highlighted in KPMG’s Future of Retail report, the pandemic has simply accelerated much of the change that was already underway. For the retail industry, the fight for survival and a return to long-term growth will most likely be won by those who take a more bespoke approach to the customer journey, moving away from the ‘push’ to the ‘pull’ model, focusing on reducing unnecessary costs, building stronger collaborations, being more purpose-driven and – above all else – embracing innovation.

Creating a better customer experience through innovation

Innovation isn’t just implementing technologies – it’s finding new solutions that are specifically tailored to support a greater customer experience and acknowledging the fact that consumers are more empowered today and developing new purchasing behaviors.

The question for the industry now is how do you unlock innovation? Having the right tools and infrastructure is key and cloud technologies can play a central role in supporting the digitization and personalization of the entire customer journey.

Much has been said in recent months about the explosion in cloud technology for business, but it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all. Cloud services that are tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of retail are essential.

Leveraging industry-specific cloud technology

Building on our longstanding global alliance, KPMG has been selected as a launch partner for Microsoft Cloud for Retail, helping consumer and retail organizations deliver seamless customer experiences. This is the third industry cloud offering that KPMG has supported Microsoft with as a launch partner – following the successful earlier roll-outs of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services.

Microsoft Cloud for Retail is a tool that can really help unlock the retail industry’s race to innovate. Bringing together different data sources across the retail value chain and uniquely connecting experiences across the end-to-end customer journey, the technology delivers a set of capabilities that deliver more relevant personalized experiences and operational excellence for sustained profitability.

“The combination of KPMG’s deep industry expertise and the Microsoft Cloud for Retail platform can help retailers develop a deeper, more meaningful understanding and long-term relationship with their customers. It will also help provide essential support on some of the key issues that can hinder growth – including supply chain resilience and process digitalization,” said Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President, WW Retail & Consumer Goods Industries, Microsoft.

KPMG solutions built on the Microsoft Cloud are specifically designed to support greater customer-centricity, including digital transformation, data analytics, security, supply chain management, and growth and new business models. The KPMG Connected Enterprise framework aligns the front, middle and back office for profitable growth to help consumer and retail organizations win in a new market reality. Combined with KPMG’s Powered Enterprise solutions and regulatory-driven transformation approach, KPMG firms can help deliver enterprise-wide transformation programs to address new complexities and the long term-shift in consumer behaviors.

Creating a higher-performing organization and delivering transformational change should be founded on continuous innovation and relentless customer focus – and KPMG and Microsoft can help you navigate that change.

Throughout this page, “we”, “us” and “our” refers to KPMG and Microsoft.

“KPMG” refers to the global organization or to one or more of the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”), each of which is a separate legal entity

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