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Sainsbury’s aims to become “AI-enabled grocer” with new Microsoft partnership

Image © Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s plan to use its rich data set and Microsoft’s artificial intelligence capabilities to improve store operations, drive greater colleague efficiency and provide customers with a more effective service.

The supermarket has announced a new five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft to harness its AI and machine learning tools.

Sainsbury’s said it will utilise Microsoft’s services to transform operations across three areas:

  • Enhanced customer experiences: Sainsbury’s will use generative AI to create a more interactive online shopping experience and improve customers’ search experience, making shopping more efficient and engaging.
  • Empowered store colleagues: Store colleagues will have real-time data and insights for key processes, like smarter shelf replenishment processes. Using AI to pull together multiple data inputs, such as shelf edge cameras, colleagues will be guided to the shelves that need replenishing; saving valuable time as well as ensuring sales opportunities aren’t missed. Sainsbury’s store colleagues will have more time to focus on the things that matter to customers, with access to AI-guided support to address customer and colleague queries effectively in the moment, improving efficiency and enabling the delivery of leading service for Sainsbury’s customers.
  • Data powering the Sainsbury’s business, built on smart cloud foundations: Sainsbury’s data assets combined with Microsoft 365 collaboration tools, generative AI and machine learning capabilities will enable Sainsbury’s to continue driving returns through its Save and invest to win programme: transforming operations, driving better decision making and running a more efficient business. This will be delivered through Microsoft Azure as part of Sainsbury’s cloud ecosystem, reducing time to market for new services and innovations.

Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury’s chief retail and technology officer, said: “Our collaboration with Microsoft will accelerate our ambition to become the UK’s leading AI-enabled grocer.

“It’s one of the key ways we’re investing in transforming our capabilities over the next three years, enabling us to take another big leap forward in efficiency and productivity, continue to provide leading customer service and deliver returns for our shareholders.”

Earlier this month, Currys announced that it has chosen Microsoft, alongside Accenture, to deliver its core cloud technology infrastructure.

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