Sainsbury’s and Microsoft to power up customer experience with AI

a row of orange Sainsbury's delivery trucks parked next to each other on a sunny day | Microsoft and Sainsbury's AI partnership

British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and Microsoft have announced a new five-year strategic partnership to help deliver the retailer’s Next Level Sainsbury’s strategy.

Using Microsoft’s AI and machine learning capabilities along with Sainsbury’s rich datasets, the partnership will aim to improve store operations, drive greater efficiency for colleagues and provide customers with a more effective service, delivering stronger returns for shareholders under Sainsbury’s Save and Invest to Win program.

According to the duo, with Microsoft, Sainsbury’s will put the power of AI in the hands of store colleagues and make shopping more engaging and convenient for millions of customers across the UK – both online and in-store. This will be supported by upskilling programs for Sainsbury’s colleagues, helping them learn and grow in the new AI-driven economy.

Through the partnership, Sainsbury’s will use Microsoft’s services to transform across three core areas: enhanced customer experiences, empowered store colleagues and data powering the Sainsbury’s business, built on smart cloud foundations.

This way, the alliance aims to help Sainsbury’s store colleagues have more time to focus on the things that matter to customers, with access to AI-guided support to address customer and colleague queries quickly and effectively, improving efficiency and enabling the delivery of leading service.

Clodagh Moriarty, chief retail and technology officer at Sainsbury’s, 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, [as we] continue to provide leading customer service and deliver returns for our shareholders.”

“Today, Sainsbury’s has laid out a bold vision that puts AI at the heart of its business, accelerating the development of new services, which will enhance and transform the customer and colleague experience,” Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK, said. “We are delighted to be working with Sainsbury’s to power the next generation of retail.”

Microsoft has also recently partnered with Currys and Accenture to deliver its core cloud technology infrastructure and help the retailer leverage the latest AI technologies to enhance operations and elevate the shopping and colleague experience.