NEW YORK — Jan. 14, 2013 — At the National Retail Federation’s annual conference today, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) announced the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics for Retail with new capabilities and next-generation innovation to help retailers deliver a complete shopping experience through end-to-end, search-based e-commerce; next-generation point of sale (POS); and a true omnichannel commerce engine. Building on Microsoft’s commitment to retail and delivering a widely available, end-to-end, omnichannel solution, adopted in more than 38 countries, these capabilities further enhance the unique value proposition of Microsoft Dynamics for Retail, helping leading retailers worldwide deliver the connected, personal and relevant experiences their customers expect.
Graeme Hackland, chief information officer of Lotus F1 Team, understands the critical need for speed, agility and delivering a compelling customer experience. Competing in one of the most popular sports in the world can be as challenging off the track as it is on when it comes to managing mission-critical business applications. The Lotus F1 Team is using Microsoft Dynamics to help fine-tune and drive every aspect of its business, from managing the design, manufacturing and testing of the 20,000-plus parts on each car to analyzing real-time data from the racetrack. The team now also plans to use Microsoft Dynamics for Retail to address POS, merchandising, e-commerce and more.
“We want to be in a position to win,” Hackland said. “We’re investing in people and technology, and we need to improve our processes. Microsoft Dynamics for Retail is going to help the team with specific retail challenges in 2014 and beyond.”
Edwin Watts Golf is an example of a true specialty retailer that during the past four years has grown its retail business to more than 90 retail locations in addition to direct mail and Internet sales. The company has also grown in its breadth of offerings with custom golf equipment, trade-ins and specialized customer service that was taxing the capabilities of its aging legacy systems. A leader in customer service, Edwin Watts Golf needed a solution that could offer a seamless customer experience across all its retail channels while also giving it the flexibility and agility to maintain its best practices.
“Many vendors offer strong POS solutions, but Microsoft Dynamics for Retail offered us the complete omnichannel experience — including phone and Internet sales channels,” said Lynda Barr, chief financial officer, Edwin Watts Golf. “Our products, especially golf clubs, are complex in that they are offered in a variety of technical specifications. As a result, we fill a high percentage of custom orders, we offer trade-in credit for old equipment and we have very specific customer service requirements. Thus, we needed the flexibility and ease of customization offered by Microsoft Dynamics for Retail that no other vendor could deliver to meet our business needs.”
Microsoft Dynamics for Retail delivers the future of omnichannel customer engagement with new innovations such as the following:
• Revolutionary e-commerce. Retailers looking for an accurate, timely, consistent online experience for their customers, while reducing complexity for themselves, finally have a solution. Microsoft Dynamics for Retail offers end-to-end e-commerce, based on powerful, next-generation search technology, with a fully integrated Web storefront, complete catalog and real-time order management.
• Next-generation POS. Today’s empowered consumers have access to seemingly endless sources of information through smart devices. Retailers can now be on a level playing field with a POS solution without limits. Custom content, rich product details and critical customer insight can be pulled from any channel to the fully configurable, touch-optimized Microsoft Dynamics Point of Sale. And with full support for POS on Windows Phone 8 and powerful tablet devices such as Microsoft Surface, retailers have the power of choice in the devices they leverage to seamlessly engage with their customers.
• True omnichannel commerce engine. Managing multiple channels for retailers today means inefficiency, since outdated and complex technology solutions rely on multiple commerce engines that require retailers to perform the same tasks over and over in hopes of achieving the desired result. Microsoft Dynamics for Retail uniquely offers an omnichannel commerce engine to manage all of a retailer’s channels. This means creating a promotion, discount or other strategic initiative just one time and having it light up every relevant customer touch point. This allows the retailers to be agile and opportunistic to help them stay ahead of the trends, reduce complexity and reduce costs.
Retailers worldwide, including Diane von Furstenberg, Eason, Fanatics Inc., Marc Jacobs, Mattress Firm and Optic 2000, have chosen Microsoft Dynamics for Retail to take their businesses into the future.
“We work with retailers around the world to help them become Dynamic — connected, personal, agile and opportunistic — but it’s as much about the technology as the strategy,” said Michael Griffiths, global product industry director, Retail & Distribution, Microsoft Business Solutions. “Retailers need innovation and a modern architecture for omnichannel, POS and e-commerce to be about more than just marketing. We invest more than any other vendor in globalization and solution research and development to ensure that we support our customers with an industry-leading solution whose capabilities are built to work together, offering retailers a vision for the future that helps reduce cost and complexity — allowing them to always be ready for what’s next.”