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Microsoft D365 2021 Wave 1: What's Next for Retail?

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Devin Kitterman, Solution Architect
Devin Kitterman, Solution Architect

Retailers are seeing a big functionality lift in Microsoft's D365 2021 wave 1 release. With D365 Commerce, retailers get a complete omnichannel commerce solution that provides centralized operational activities.

Shop Similar Looks & Shop by Similar Description

Microsoft is adding new components to the product recommendations engine with two new AI/ML features - shop similar looks and shop by similar description.

Using targeted recommendations is one of the best ways to guide buying decisions. With the shop similar looks feature, D365 Commerce recommends similar merchandise to the shopper. For example, if a shopper is considering a blue dress, D365 Commerce now has the functionality to recommend similar dresses, shoes, and jewelry to complement the look.

Some companies rely on verbose item descriptions items to support consumer search functionality. Using the new shop by a similar description feature, D365 Commerce runs product descriptions through the recommendation engine to find items with similar keywords.

Azure AD Single Sign-On

Last year, Microsoft added point of sale (POS) authentication with Azure AD credentials. Within the 2021 Wave 1 release, Microsoft is adding single sign-on support within the POS.

For users requiring access to multiple apps on the same device, this single sign-on enables users to log in to Windows with their Azure AD credentials and not login to every application individually. This new feature will automatically sign them in at the POS and allow new team members to take over a device quickly.

Customer Check-in for Touchless Commerce

The convenience of curbside pick-up is here to stay. Microsoft is heavily investing in this area across its e-Commerce and POS solutions. D365 Commerce includes the ability to buy online and define new delivery methods, such as curbside pick-up during designated timeslots.

In the wave 1 release, Microsoft is enhancing the consumer pick-up process. Process includes:

  1. Customer places an order for pick-up.

  2. Store/location picks the order and designates it ready for pick-up.

  3. Customer receives an email with an "I am here" button.

  4. When the customer arrives, they click the button and enter info such as parking space number and vehicle make/model.

  5. D365 Commerce creates a POS task notifying location workers that the customer has arrived, what they have ordered, and location.

Microsoft Teams Integration

Retailers can take advantage of more Microsoft platform pieces within their stores thanks to a new integration between D365 Commerce and Microsoft Teams. Synchronization includes organizational structure, stores, and workers between both products. You'll now have the capabilities to provide new teams and sync workers to the stores/teams they are associated with.

This feature also provides an integration with the task management module within D365 Commerce. You can publish task lists to the users within Teams and send back status updates to D365.

Chatbots for E-Commerce

Chatbots for e-commerce is now a must-have for online retailers. Initially handled by Power Virtual Agents, the chatbot fields questions from customers on your e-commerce site. If the question requires human intervention, a seamless transition will pass the conversation from the chatbot to a live customer service rep within D365 Omnichannel Customer Service.

Independent Deployment and Installation Packages for MPOS, CPOS, HWS, and CSU Extensions

Currently, Microsoft packages all Commerce components into one solution. This means you deploy all application code (both core and extensions) together each time the user takes an update.

In this new release, Microsoft is splitting these components apart. You'll now get a much smoother update process and manage the installation of core components and extensions separately. Users will be able to take new base application updates without performing any merge process, thus reducing deployment time.

B2B eCommerce

Learn more about the B2B commerce functionality in D365 Commerce & see all the new features released in Microsoft D365 Wave 1:

                   Microsoft D365 2021 Wave 1 Guides B2B eCommerce          Microsoft D365 2021 Wave 1 Guides

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