Microsoft Debuts Synchronized Shopping Experience in Harvey Norman, Business News


SINGAPORE – Media OutReach
 – 4 November 2019 – 
Microsoft announced the global debut of a retail solution,
available first in Harvey Norman, that empowers consumers to make
informed purchase decisions amidst the myriad of options available
online and offline.

 

The solution, called Microsoft Synchronized Shopping, is one
expression of Microsoft’s broader retail reimagined strategy
aimed at simplifying the consumer journey by leveraging
intelligent cloud technology. 

 

“Enabling great customer experiences is at the heart of our retail
reimagined initiative, and this new intelligent edge solution is
designed to break customer choice paralysis by providing a seamless
online and in store experience,” said Ami Silverman, corporate vice
president, worldwide sales, consumer & device sales division,
Microsoft. “Microsoft Synchronized Shopping marks the first of many
innovative solutions that we and our partners will bring to market
to transform the retail journey, and we are honored that our
longstanding partner Harvey Norman is piloting this experience with
us.”  

 


Customers must be able to make decisions holistically, especially
in a digitally connected world. This has always guided how we
curate our assortment of offerings, and it now shapes how we look
at connecting online and offline channels seamlessly for our
customers. Synchronized Shopping is a major step in the right
direction to help all of us live this ‘connected life’. I am
excited to see the results of this pilot run and we will continue
to improve on and expand this experience.” said Katie Page, chief
executive officer of Harvey Norman.

With the online proliferation of options and the anywhere/anytime
nature of shopping via mobile devices, two issues plague the
customer journey for consumer electronic purchasers today. First,
shoppers (80% of whom start their journey online[1]
) end up delaying or even postponing a purchase because they are
overwhelmed by the number of choices. Second, they find it
difficult to choose the product that best meets their needs,
without conducting extensive research, and often end up buying a
less-than-satisfactory device. This “choice paralysis” inspired the
design of Microsoft Synchronized Shopping.

 

With the Microsoft Synchronized Shopping solution, shoppers use a
customized conversational A.I. driven product advisor, on the
Harvey Norman website, that asks a series of questions to identify
their needs, then recommends devices that best meet those specific
needs such as long battery life or storage capacity. Product
advisor results reflect devices that are on display in Harvey
Norman, where customers can go to try them out. The immersive and
engaging experience starts when the shortlisted device(s) on the
website creates a shopper pass on the mobile device with embedded
geo-location services. When shoppers are in proximity of the store
where the specific PCs are available, they get a phone
notification, and once they enter the store are guided to the exact
PCs that were recommended by the online advisor. This simplifies
the in-store experience, eliminating the need for shoppers to spend
time navigating through all the choices in the PC aisle. In
addition, it provides a seamless online-offline purchase journey
tailored to their needs which is highly secure (and with no
footprint of the user on any of the interacting devices).

 

Microsoft Synchronized Shopping was developed in partnership with
Microsoft Gold partner Popcornapps
, and is built on highly scalable Azure cloud services, progressive
web-apps (PWA) and geo-location based services. The PWA is designed
to work with multiple form factors across iOS and Android devices
and interacts with the devices in-store using a UWP (Universal
Windows Platform) application. Today’s launch is celebrated in
tandem with Harvey Norman Singapore’s 18th
anniversary, another milestone in their track record of retail
innovation.

 

Microsoft Synchronized Shopping is currently exclusively piloted at
the Harvey Norman Millenia Walk Flagship Store. Consumers in
Singapore can begin their online journey here: https://www.harveynorman.com.sg/microsoft-synchronized-shopping/



[1]
Source:
Source: PwC Report 2018

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and
productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and
its mission is to empower every person and every organization on
the planet to achieve more.

 

About Harvey Norman

Harvey Norman from Australia is a leading household name in
Singapore. A retail chain offering wide range of Electrical,
Computers, Furniture and Bedding products. Harvey Norman has a
prominent international presence with stores in Australia, New
Zealand, Ireland, Slovenia, Croatia and Malaysia.



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