Retailers need good social media tools to get the word out about sales and offers, but they’re also increasingly using Office 365 to help desk-less employees stay connected socially, and to communicate individually with customers.

Companies that “leverage employee engagement best are doing everything from ensuring store associates are able to realize the benefits of new productive tools, to enabling sales staff on the floor to communicate via social channels back to headquarters,” writes Tracy Issel on the Vertical Industries blog.

One of those companies, leading Australian retailer Coles, will share why they’re planning to deploy about 100,000 seats of Office 365 and use Yammer to enable employees and partners to connect and share information at a “BIG !dea” session Tuesday at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York City. (You can also check out this blog post by Coles managing director Ian McLeod, discussing why Coles chose Office 365.)

Another company, Coop Italia, the largest supermarket chain in Italy, is using Office 365 to improve the retail experience.

“By moving from Lotus Notes to the more familiar Outlook Web App included with Office 365, the cooperative is encouraging its employees to share insights that improve customer service. In addition, employees are communicating more effectively with partners and with other cooperatives across Italy,” Issel writes.

“Office 365 has enabled us to operate more efficiently while lowering our management costs,” says Gabriele Tubertini, CIO of Coop Italia. “Even better, employees are able to share knowledge and ideas that improve the shopping experience.”

To learn more about how Office 365 can help retailers get more social, read Issel’s post at the Vertical Industries blog.

You might also be interested in:

· Try this on for size: Microsoft, Accenture demonstrate the “Connected Fitting Room”
· Windows devices help retailers manage the sales floor, track display changes instantly
· Microsoft shows comprehensive retail point-of-service system using off-the-shelf hardware

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff