Microsoft and Cooler Screens plan to transform retail

  • November 3, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Microsoft has started a multi-year collaboration with Chicago-based Cooler Screens to bring an immersive digital experience to brick-and-mortar retail environments.

Through the collaboration, Cooler Screens will work with Microsoft to scale the delivery of its immersive digital media and merchandising platform hosted on Microsoft Azure to retailers and product brands. The companies will also explore additional integration opportunities to deliver enhanced experiences.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with an industry leader like Microsoft to drive innovation in retail and build the largest in-store digital media platform in the world,” said Greg Wasson, co-founder and chairman of Cooler Screens. “We are changing the way consumers shop for the better, and this collaboration not only gives us the capabilities to implement our strategy but also gives us immediate massive scale.”

Cooler Screens’ retail technology replaces traditional cooler doors with IoT-enabled, high-resolution smart screens that use sensors outside and inside of the coolers to track inventory and product placing. The product uses identity-blind data from consumer interactions, combined with external data such as weather to deliver more personalised experiences.

“Retailers today are looking to use digital technology to transform their businesses and redefine the shopping experience for customers,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Through the power of Microsoft Azure, companies like Cooler Screens are meeting this important need by bringing immersive digital experience to brick-and-mortar stores.”

Cooler Screens has products deployed in more than 50 Walgreens shops. The plan is to expand this into 2500 Walgreens stores across the USA in 2021, reaching over 75 million in-store consumers monthly, including 2.5 million on a daily basis.

“Walgreens is committed to enhancing our customer shopping experience through digital transformation, one of our key strategic priorities,” said Stefano Pessina, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. “Pairing the Cooler Screens digital media and merchandising technology with Microsoft’s Azure platform will bring a unique and innovative offering to Walgreens customers shopping the cooler aisle.”

Brands including Miller Coors, Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Chobani, Tyson Foods and Monster Energy advertise with Cooler Screens. The company is working with a number of companies in the grocery and convenience store industry, including Kroger and GetGo, to bring more contextually relevant shopping to the stores.