Best Buy taps Google Cloud in latest digital transformation play

The consumer electronics retailer said Tuesday that it will work with Google Cloud to unify its data sources across various legacy platforms.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Best Buy is turning to Google Cloud as part of its ongoing digital transformation strategy. The consumer electronics retailer said Tuesday that it will work with Google Cloud to unify its data sources across various legacy platforms in order to develop more personalized shopping experiences for consumers. 

Through the new multi-year agreement, Google Cloud will become the cloud provider for Best Buy's enterprise data platform for its operations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. After unifying its data, Best Buy will then use Google's analytics, machine learning and AI models to develop new retail services across channels. 

For more than a year now, Google Cloud has been building up an enterprise customer-focused strategy, with the aim to make Google Cloud "the easiest cloud provider to do business with," according to Google Cloud chief Thomas Kurian. 

"Retailers like Best Buy are accelerating their digital transformations in order to deliver new products and services to customers," Kurian said in a statement. "Using Google Cloud's scalable and secure infrastructure, and leading data and analytics solutions, Best Buy will be able create new insights from their data, enabling them to innovate now and into the future."

As for Best Buy, the retailer has been on the digital transformation wagon for several years, and through its and omnichannel efforts, has shown that it can compete in a tough retail space and become more efficient. In its most recent financial report, Best Buy said first quarter online revenue was $3.34 billion, up 155.4% from a year ago. 

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said the retailer has benefited from multichannel investments made in recent years. "We have taken the opportunity to accelerate aspects of our strategy as this environment has quickly shifted the ways in which customers interact with retailers," said Barry.

Looking at the broader retail market, cloud players such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon have been touting the perks of their respective platforms and promising to support retailers on their digital transformation journeys. Last year Microsoft announced a retail-as-a-service (RaaS) partnership with supermarket chain Kroger, which is splitting its cloud buying between Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Meanwhile, Walmart is partnering with Microsoft to use its AI, Internet of Things tools and Azure

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