In a bid to ramp up its shift into the digital age, global home improvement firm Kingfisher recently formalized a five-year strategic partnership with tech leader Google Cloud.
This is a timely decision on the part of Kingfisher whose retail network now stands at 1,500 physical stores worldwide with at least 80,000 full-time employees.
According to JJ Van Oosten, Kingfisher’s chief digital and technology officer, the company currently has a tech strategy in place for the development of a world-class engineering center. But in order to properly implement this, it would require a tech stack that would enable it to freely experiment and develop at a rapid clip.
By opting for Google Cloud, Kingfisher gets a partner that, while entirely focused on back-end engineering, understands the complexities of global retail. It is a partnership that puts Kingfisher on the track toward becoming a digital leader in its industry in order to meet the needs of both its global teams and customers.
For his part, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian stated that he and his team were looking forward to helping Kingfisher grow its global footprint by optimizing and accelerating its growth.
Kurian added that such partnerships with leading global retailers enable his company to create optimized in-store and online retail experiences, and stand as proof that cloud computing is the way toward retail transformation in the 21st century.
What Does Kingfisher Stand to Get from This Partnership?
Using Google Cloud’s infrastructure, artificial intelligence solutions, and platform services gives Kingfisher, its extensive brand portfolio, and its customers’ numerous benefits.
Using the infrastructure will lead to improved website uptime, improved trend forecasting, a more seamless customer experience through better personalization, as well as world-class engineering support.
Plans for Further Growth
Even before the partnership, Kingfisher already had several plans for digital innovation in its pipeline, but now expects things to speed up now that Google Cloud is on board.
Among the initiatives under the new partnership, one of the most prominent is the impending re-platforming of the Screwfix e-commerce site, a move that will make it a hundred times faster, enhancing its capabilities as the world’s fastest non-food delivery service.
Another plan involves another brand in the Kingfisher portfolio, B&Q. The use of cloud computing will enable the brand to expand its online offerings from the 300,000 currently available to over four million over the next several years.
Kingfisher also hopes to use such technologies to develop a real-time order system with improved stock accuracy and a visual search feature that uses Google Cloud AI to help customers find the most appropriate products for their requirements.