Due to virus lockdowns, many businesses have had to shift their customer engagement model away from the more traditional Brick & Mortar, in person experiences and either add or expand their online shopping experience to keep their customers. Azure Maps can help retailers realize these benefits through experiences created using features of Azure Maps such as:
Store or Locker Locator
Find the closest locked delivery box to avoid box theft from front door delivery and return items to locked box location rather than brick and mortar store. Further Azure Search capability could be used to suggest the locations that have the specific item the customer wants in stock and pre-purchase so it is ready for curb-side pick-up
Valid Address Entry
Avoid costly returned as undeliverable packages due to poorly completed addresses in web forms. Accepting only addresses that are populated in a drop down ensures the address is recognized within Azure Maps and is “routable” for delivery option offerings.
Point of Interest Advertising
Want to have your business found organically by folks looking for businesses in Azure Maps, Bing Maps and TomTom? To ensure your business listing is correct on all Microsoft connected maps we have the following two suggested links:
In all cases, it is important for retail customers to know where the business is located and that is where Azure Maps pulls it all together.
As part of the Azure IoT Suite of offerings from Microsoft, Azure Maps exists to give you the ability to make your location-based scenarios a reality. In the case of retail these are pretty well known but there is always room to innovate!
For example, World-wide children's clothes retailer and Azure Maps customer, Okaïdi, has created their own “LocateShop” experience using the store locator functionality offered through the Azure Maps Web SDK. Customers easily find the “Location” option and then can type any city or country worldwide in the edit box to find the closest store or web retail site. They can then get their expectation set for a trip to the physical store to shop and pick up or follow the link to an online shopping experience if there is no retail store in their region.
Okaïdi has created a completely blended online and off-line shopping experience for their customers based on where they live and immediately sets the expectation of which shopping experiences they have available to them through their location finder page.
While this blog focused on how Azure maps can help within your Retail solution, I also wanted to let you know that Microsoft has initiatives to help businesses succeed including:
https://startups.microsoft.com/ - You are doing big things. We are here to help! Accelerate growth with a customized set of offerings and resources that evolve with your startup from idea to exit.
https://partner.microsoft.com/ - Members of the Microsoft Partner Network have access to resources, programs, tools, and connections. Discover a community designed to help businesses grow.
Thank you for your interest in Azure Maps. All of the samples above are directly accessible through the links and have Github repositories for you to leverage the sample code within your solutions. If you need any assistance or have any questions feel free to post them in our Q&A section, we are here to help!