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.
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
"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."
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.
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) 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.
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).
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/
 Source: Source: PwC Report 2018
(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.