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Exceed customer expectations with seamless and unified commerce experiences

Today’s consumers want the flexibility to buy and fulfill where, when, and how they choose. As retailers have expanded on purchasing options for customers—like buy online pick up in-store—they have quickly gone from value adds or differentiators, to baseline customer expectations. For many retailers, enabling omnichannel experiences is not only a means to grow; it…

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Today’s consumers want the flexibility to buy and fulfill where, when, and how they choose. As retailers have expanded on purchasing options for customers—like buy online pick up in-store—they have quickly gone from value adds or differentiators, to baseline customer expectations. For many retailers, enabling omnichannel experiences is not only a means to grow; it is critical to surviving in a modern sales environment. Over the last year, retailers have moved quickly to meet customers on new and emerging channels to drive customer conversion and sales growth. Improving front-end experiences were often prioritized over establishing connected back-end systems that powered these new purchasing experiences and as a result, many retailers failed to deliver on a promise of seamlessly connected shopping for their customers due to siloed and disconnected data including cross-channel transactions and customer visibility.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce is built on a modern, intelligent, and headless platform that natively connects commerce systems, such as payment processing, fraud protection, along with easily extending to 3PL logistics. By looking across all facets of the customer journey, businesses can enable true omnichannel commerce across traditional and emerging channels, through a unified commerce platform. This ultimately allows retailers and consumer goods organizations to meet customers where they are, allow them to pay however they want, and make returns through whatever channel they choose to offer. It also provides managers and sellers with complete visibility of customers and business data. This connected data platform can help fuel your business for future innovation and growth across all relevant purchasing channels.

Let’s take a closer look at how data has transformed the way we perceive, power, and drive innovation across customer purchasing experiences.

Seamless journeys

Consumers expect seamless and frictionless experiences and have seemingly endless options of products and places to purchase. This means that even a single broken step in the customer journey can lead customers to move to another brand or retailer. In a recent PwC survey of 15,000 consumers, they found that one in three people will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.1

Savvy retailers understand the value of a seamless journey and are making investments to make this a reality. They know that consumers will continually evaluate their brand experience against the best they’ve ever had, not against their idea of what their average experience has been. For example, consumers see no issue comparing smaller and medium-size companies against the most successful e-commerce and omnichannel retailers.

To help businesses compete effectively in this climate, Dynamics 365 Commerce can connect all the steps and touchpoints across the customer journey, from payments to returns, both online and in-store. It empowers retailers to drive a connected commerce experience, providing increased cross-channel visibility, improving customer retention rates and helping businesses gain the necessary insights to offer increasingly personalized experiences.

Personalized experiences

Considering consumers’ low tolerance for bad experiences, businesses of all sizes, even small to medium-sized, must create outstanding customer experiences across platforms, from social to in-person, to check out and returns. Customers spend up to 40 percent more,2 when they consider the experience highly personalized. Moreover, these types of integrated, seamless journeys lead to positive customer experiences that can also increase spending by as much as 140 percent.3

Truly connected systems

Achieving unified commerce requires integration across all systems and databases utilized in making omnichannel commerce a reality. Let’s consider payment systems to understand the benefits of integrating back-end systems.

Many businesses continue to use traditional payment gateways that route payments through a separate risk management system before passing them to another third party for payment authorization and completion. Typically, these legacy systems rely on numerous payment processors and processes for each different channel and region.

This type of disconnected system is inefficient and costly for businesses to operate. When systems are disconnected in this manner, it limits improvements to customer experiences because of a lack of insights and visibility. In addition, users will often have to run dozens of reports to stay on top of sales information from all channels and payment providers, and worse, these reports remain disconnected from ERP and CRM systems.

Integrated payments

Integrating payments is about more than consolidating all payments with one provider. It’s about ensuring all of your payment systems are integrated with other systems, including ERP systems, the point-of-sale platform, and the customer relationship management system. If businesses could integrate payment systems, they can enable the level of visibility necessary to provide more personalized customer experiences and move one step closer to true omnichannel retail.

Businesses can integrate payments in three ways: create a custom integration, use a plugin, or use a native integration. Custom integrations can be expensive due to integration and ongoing maintenance costs, pushing many retailers to opt for prebuilt plugins if a native integration was unavailable. Using plugins carries risk, however, as it means relying on yet another third party to build and maintain a vital link in your commercial processes. Native integration is a superior option as it reduces reliance on an additional third party and is also more affordable and reliable.

With Dynamics 365 Commerce, we offer the ability to work with a variety of payment providers, but we have invested in natively integrating payments to Adyen. Adyen (AMS: ADYEN) is the payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, providing a modern end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard, and consumers’ globally preferred payment methods. Adyen delivers frictionless payments across online, mobile, and in-store channels.

Because this integration is built and supported by Microsoft, you can depend on it to be an always up-to-date, seamless working solution while also delivering faster implementation for new businesses. For example, a retailer who recently chose Adyen on Dynamics 365 started accepting and testing payments within 38 minutes, compared to weeks with other providers.

Learn more about the Microsoft and Adyen partnership or check out our free Payments Webinar.

Build connected and seamless experiences today

Businesses across the globe have been challenged to adapt rapidly to changing customer needs and demands accelerated by the pandemic. Consumers and business-facing organizations are embracing digital transformation on a massive scale to compete and thrive in complex commerce environments. Dynamics 365 solutions enable retailers and consumer goods organizations to combine the best of digital and in-store to deliver personal, seamless, and differentiated customer experiences. With Dynamic 365 Commerce, businesses can streamline business processes, turn data into insights, and take advantage of dynamic, agile systems that adapt to customer needs on a proven and secure data platform.

Ready to take the next step with Dynamics 365 Commerce? You can take advantage of a free Dynamics 365 Commerce trial or check out our webinar, Get Full Control of Your Payments with Adyen and Dynamics 365.

1- “Experience is everything. Get it right.,” PwC

2- U.S., Business Impact of Personalization in Retail study, customer survey, Google, 2019

3- The true value of customer experiences, Deloitte

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Facebook: How Meta Is Preparing for Brazil’s 2022 Elections

Today, we want to share our work to protect the integrity of presidential elections taking place in Brazil in October 2022. In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts to combat misinformation by investing in teams, technology and partnerships to ensure the safety of people using Meta’s platforms. Since 2016, we’ve quadrupled our security and integrity…

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Today, we want to share our work to protect the integrity of presidential elections taking place in Brazil in October 2022. In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts to combat misinformation by investing in teams, technology and partnerships to ensure the safety of people using Meta’s platforms.

Since 2016, we’ve quadrupled our security and integrity workforce to more than 40,000 people globally. Last year alone, we invested nearly $5 billion in both areas.

We know that local knowledge is essential for this work to be effective, so we also have a large team of specialists based in Brazil who have a deep understanding of the situation. These efforts are intensified as the election approaches, and our work to protect the integrity of our platforms will continue after the vote.

Preventing and Stopping Election Interference

Removing content that violates our policies on voter suppression, such as posts that discourage people from voting, is among our many responses to potential interference in the electoral process. We take many actions to prevent hate speech or the incitement of violence on our platforms.

Currently, 99.7% of the fake accounts we remove from Facebook are deleted by artificial intelligence, before they are reported by users. We also investigate and disrupt networks that use fake accounts in a coordinated way to influence public debate.

Closer to October, we will activate an Elections Operations Center focused on Brazil, an initiative we’ve implemented since 2018, to bring together experts from across the company – including intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, public policy and legal teams. They work together to identify potential threats on our platforms in real time, accelerating our response time.

Collaborating With Authorities

In partnership with Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE), in December 2021 we started adding a label to posts about political elections on Facebook and Instagram, directing people to reliable information on the Electoral Justice website. In the first two months after its launch, the label led to a 10-fold increase in visits to the Electoral Justice portal.

Between the end of April and the beginning of May, we posted reminders on Facebook for users to request or update their voter cards. The content was seen by the majority of adults using Facebook in Brazil and more than three  million people clicked to see more information. Closer to the upcoming election, we will again display reminders on Facebook and Instagram about voting day to raise awareness among voters and reduce abstention rates.

For the first time, the TSE will be able to report content directly on Facebook and Instagram that may violate our policies. We will analyze the reports once they are received.

WhatsApp launched an extrajudicial channel of communication in the 2020 municipal election to receive complaints from the TSE. The focus is on quick response to potential cases of bulk messaging, which is forbidden by local electoral law and by the app’s terms of service.

We also developed a virtual assistant on WhatsApp with the TSE, as we did during Brazil’s 2020 municipal election. The chatbot is accessible through the number +55 61 9637-1078. It allows voters to interact directly with the electoral authority and receive relevant information about the vote.

Meta has hosted training sessions for electoral officials all over Brazil to explain our actions to curb misinformation, share details on how Facebook and Instagram work, and detail our content rules, which we call our Community Standards and Community Guidelines. We also offer workshops to candidates and their campaign teams.

The partnership with the TSE also includes booklets with information for the electoral community and a guide to combating online violence against women in politics, also supported by the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) – Brazil Chapter.

Fighting Misinformation

We remove content on Facebook and Instagram that discourages voting or interferes with voting, such as incorrect information about the election date or candidates’ numbers.

We also work with independent fact-checking organizations to verify the veracity of reported posts that don’t violate our Community Standards. When fact-checkers mark a post as false, we reduce its reach on Facebook and Instagram.

People who still see this content in their feeds will see it covered with a label and a link directing them to more information from the fact-checker. In July, we increased the number of partners in our fact-checking initiative in Brazil from four to six including: Agência Lupa, AFP, Aos Fatos, Estadão Verifica, Reuters Fact Check and UOL Confere.

Since messages on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, we fight misinformation on WhatsApp through measures to reduce message virality.

Messages forwarded on WhatsApp are identified with a tag. Since 2020, messages with five or more forwards can be resent to just one conversation, which has led to a 70% global reduction in the number of frequently forwarded messages. This year, we implemented a new forwarding limit on WhatsApp: now, any forwarded message can only be forwarded again to one WhatsApp group at a time.

Advertising Transparency

In 2018, we launched our transparency tools for ads about politics and elections on Facebook and Instagram in Brazil. In 2020, we began requiring advertisers who wish to run ads about elections or politics to complete an authorization process and include “Paid for by” disclaimers on these ads. This year, we’ve expanded that requirement to ads about social issues such as economics, security and education.

All posts with the “Paid for by” disclaimer go to the Ad Library, where they are stored for seven years. The tool is open and provides anyone with detailed information about political ads including  the ad source account, audience demographics and estimated spending range, among other data.

Protecting the integrity of the Brazilian election in 2022 on our apps is a priority for Meta. We will continue to share updates on how we move forward with this work.

See more information about our work on elections.

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Microsoft is a Leader in The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites, Q3 2022

We are honored to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was identified as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022. A few weeks ago, during his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella reminded us of the distinct value that Microsoft provides to organizations by leading the way in digital transformation and supercharging their systems…

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We are honored to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was identified as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022.

A few weeks ago, during his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella reminded us of the distinct value that Microsoft provides to organizations by leading the way in digital transformation and supercharging their systems of record. “Dynamics 365 is purpose-built for this new world of business process. Our intelligent business applications connect data, process, and teams, ushering in a new era of hyper connected business and offering unparalleled value.” And over this past year we have been proud to see our customers take Dynamics 365 and show that there are really no limits to what can be done when you unite data silos with industry-leading AI and integrate collaboration tools throughout.

From the Campari Group’s ability to deploy bespoke personalization to their event attendees with real-time customer journey orchestration, to Dextra Group’s saving a whopping 60 percent on their customer relationship management (CRM) cost while also increasing seller productivity and lead quality, and to the city of Richmond, Virginia transformation of their non-emergency case management capabilities to deliver omnichannel engagement for improved efficiency and also becoming benchmark for how governments nationwide can utilize digital tools to better serve their communities.

What makes our CRM and connected products stand out for our customers? Here are seven key insights we have heard over the past year.

  1. Dynamics 365 provides an end-to-end, full-funnel solution. Dynamics 365 is the only portfolio of intelligent business applications that accelerates revenue outcomes by transforming selling experiences with a single intelligent, digital, customizable solution.
  2. Robust AI insights at your fingertips. Dynamics 365 enables everyone, across every team, to make better and more impactful decisions by converting data into insights with the intelligence of Microsoft AI allowing teams to be more efficient and productive.
  3. Breakdown the barriers between people. We offer the leading workplace collaboration, video conferencing, and meeting software in the world with Microsoft Teams, which can connect seamlessly with our out-of-the-box CRM or be personalized to fit an organization’s needs with custom features.
  4. Personalize every experience. Dynamics 365 Marketing assists companies in more deeply understanding their customers and drives intent with AI-powered insights to deliver connected experiences—all the way from acquisition to retention.
  5. Streamlined, proactive, scalable sales. Dynamics 365 helps sales teams uplevel forecasting and revenue operations with built-in AI and machine learning and enhance seller performance with recommended next best actions, productivity tools, and real-time coaching.
  6. Breakthrough service capabilities. Dynamics 365 Customer Service helps organizations meet the evolving needs of every customer across every channel and increases customer satisfaction, while boosting frontline employee productivity regardless of location.
  7. Low-code transformation. With Microsoft Power Platform, organizations can provide anyone with the ability for low-code transformation with low-code, intuitive, extensible tools that seamlessly connect to Dynamics 365. 

It’s an honor for us that so many organizations look to us for help modernizing sales, marketing, and service operations. As Forrester states in its report, “Microsoft’s strong vision, the breadth of its suite, and its partner ecosystem and industry solutions drive its 40% year-over-year growth, especially in industries such as financial services, healthcare, and retail.” We genuinely believe that with connected data, underpinned by industry leading AI and insights, there are no limits to what organizations can do. From upleveling employee experiences, to improving team productivity, and building deeper relationships with customers. It is all available with Dynamics 365.

Learn more

To learn more about how Microsoft compared with the other eight selected providers, please navigate to The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022 website and get your copy.

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Exchange Online Basic authentication is going away: What you need to know

Effective October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to use Basic authentication to connect to Microsoft Exchange Online. If your organization uses server-side synchronization or the deprecated Dynamics 365 Email Router, you should find out now whether you need to prepare for the change. How will removing Exchange Online Basic authentication affect Dynamics…

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Effective October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to use Basic authentication to connect to Microsoft Exchange Online. If your organization uses server-side synchronization or the deprecated Dynamics 365 Email Router, you should find out now whether you need to prepare for the change.

How will removing Exchange Online Basic authentication affect Dynamics 365 and Power Apps?

After October 1, 2022, any connection to Exchange Online that uses server-side sync or the Dynamics 365 Email Router with Basic authentication (username and password) will quit working. Dynamics 365 mailboxes that use these connections will no longer be able to:

  • Send email from Dynamics 365 through Exchange Online
  • Retrieve email from Exchange Online
  • Synchronize appointments, contacts, or tasks between Dynamics 365 and Exchange Online

This change doesn’t affect connections that use Modern authentication (OAuth 2.0 token-based authorization).

How can I find out if I need to prepare?

If your company is using server-side sync or the Email Router to connect to Exchange Online using a username and password, you need to act. There are a couple of ways to find out whether your organization is affected and what you need to do if it is.

Review your Message Center Posts (recommended)

The fastest and most reliable way to know if you need to prepare and what to do is to look in the Microsoft 365 Message Center. (You must have admin rights to sign in to the Message Center.) The Exchange Online team has been sending monthly Message Center posts to all affected customers with the following title format: “Basic Authentication – Monthly Usage Report – 2022.”

If your organization is using server-side sync with Basic authentication, you may also have received Message Center posts from the Dynamics 365 or Power Apps services. Look for posts with the following title: “Impact due to Exchange Online disabling Basic Authentication.”

The posts provide detailed information about the change and actions you need to take before October 1.

Check your Dynamics 365 email settings

If you don’t find any posts in the Message Center, read our guide on how to check whether your organization is affected and if it is, what you need to do before October 1.

Learn more

You can find more information, including FAQs, in the documentation:

Use of Basic authentication with Exchange Online | Microsoft Docs

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