Photo of someone using a smartphone to pay at a store

Office 365: 3 Benefits for Retail Businesses

2 Nov 2015 by Jessica Hall

Retail associates need to keep abreast of new products, collaborate with their colleagues, connect with teammates in other locations and exchange information with customers. All of these tasks drive a retail business, but they’re often happening in disparate systems. When using Microsoft Office 365, that doesn’t need to be the case. With the suite of cloud-based software, retail companies can align their processes, data and employees to gain a competitive advantage in three distinct ways.

A streamlined process

Having everything under one roof relieves retail business owners and employees from creating their own complex workflow in toggling between a variety of platforms. Brandon Baker of Loveletter Cakeshop, a boutique wedding cake bakery in New York City, knew this all too well. “Before our company migrated all of our online documents and files to Office 365 Business Premium, we were uploading and retrieving files on six or seven different platforms,” he explains.

He says that it was cumbersome to log into all of those different platforms, and they had difficulty remembering which files were stored where. “After switching to Office 365, we’re now able to complete every stage of our wedding cake-creation process from within the Office 365 framework,” Baker says.

Adapt Microsoft Dynamics CRM to your company, and you’ll be able to monitor inventory, create quotes, and inform customers when items are in stock or at nearby locations.

Tools to fit your mold

With a variety of cloud-based software solutions at your disposal, there’s a product within the suite that is likely to fit your needs. Baker says they use Word Online for drafting contracts, Excel Online for logging expenses, OneNote for consultation notes, OneDrive to store sketches and Yammer to collaborate along the way. “It's a completely integrated system that just works,” says Baker.

Many retail companies leverage PowerPoint Online to conduct product demos. Anytime Access is also useful, as associates can review presentations and learn about new products, with or without an Internet connection.

Money and time savings

Chances are, you’re using a mix of solutions that could easily be replaced by Office 365. Instead of paying for a variety of tools, switching to one software suite could help you cut costs. “We've eliminated the redundancy that comes with using seven different platforms,” Baker says.

PowerBI can be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics and Sharepoint to generate business intelligence insights and track key performance indicators. The information that those reports provide can often lead to valuable understandings that save both time and money.

Additionally, by eradicating redundancy, you can also find everything you need in one central location. “Migrating to Office 365 has saved us hours of time and frustration,” He says Baker. 

We’re proud to have a partnership with Microsoft that spans two and a half decades. With our expertise and unique approach, we can help you determine if your retail business would benefit from migrating to Office 365. Talk to a specialist to learn how this suite of software will address your specific needs.