7-Eleven Outfits Franchisees With Microsoft Tablets

Tech upgrade includes AI and cloud computing
Photograph: Shutterstock

IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven is sending franchisees Microsoft Surface computers in an effort to give them better insight from corporate into their store's performance, purchase trends and other data.

"Franchisees have a significant role to play in our transformation, and empowering them with the right information is critical. Our collaboration with Microsoft enables us to get data out to franchisees through our field employees that they can use to make better business decisions," said Gurmeet Singh, 7-Eleven executive vice president and chief digital, chief information and chief marketing officer.

The computers come equipped with the Microsoft 365 software suite and Power BI, a set of dashboards designed to help field employees to spot trends and visualize insights from point-of-sale data stored and analyzed by Azure Data Lake and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. This enables them to recommend actions to franchisees to improve performance and ensure the right products are stocked to meet customer demand. They can also use the Surface camera to take a picture of the schematics of the store and quickly and easily identify differences from the plan-o-gram that franchisees can use to analyze sales opportunities.

"Unlocking the power of data is the key to reinventing the future and delivering amazing customer experiences in the retail industry," said Shelley Bransten, corporate vice president of worldwide retail and consumer goods industries for Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash. "We're thrilled to empower 7-Eleven's field and franchisees with the services, knowledge and devices to innovate on behalf of their customers wherever they are in their shopper journey."

In addition to providing computers to franchisees, 7-Eleven is migrating its infrastructure to Azure and using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to power enhanced customer experiences. For example, by integrating Azure AI services into its 7Now delivery app, 7-Eleven is providing personalized recommendations to customers based on a variety of factors, enhancing their experience and building loyalty to the brand, the company said.

Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 69,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America. 7-Eleven is No. 1 in CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of retail outlets.

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