The Digital Commerce Imperative

A staggering seventy-six percent of retail and CPG decision-makers agree that improving digital commerce capabilities is their most urgent business priority. And yet for many organizations running on legacy or disparate systems, this goal is far out of reach. Microsoft commissioned Forrester to evaluate how retail and CPG companies are approaching digital commerce improvements today. In this thought leadership report, read key insights about the state of the retail and CPG industries in a post-pandemic world, and how technology leaders plan to invest to make true unified commerce a reality.


Dynamics 365 Commerce provides a seamless shopping experience across physical and digital channels. Customers using a network of disparate and inflexible legacy solutions stand to save significant time and money by moving to an integrated omni-channel solution like Commerce. Forrester's Total Economic Impact study of Dynamics 365 Commerce found:

  • Improved inventory management to the tune of $3.7 million
  • Saved $1.9 million through decreased training time
  • Increased brick and mortar sales by $1.5 million
  • 25 percent eCommerce sales uplift
  • Payback period of only 17 months


First in Client Satisfaction

Microsoft is a Visionary in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises. Whether offered as part of the Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain ERP suite or as a standalone finance solution, Dynamics 365 is a Tier 1 cloud-based financial suite. Other compelling aspects Gartner found in Dynamics 365? Ease of user adoption, strong global coverage, and scalability with other tools like the Microsoft Power Platform.

Above Average ROI from Dynamics 365

In analyzing the results of Microsoft Dynamics 365 deployments, Nucleus found that for every dollar spent, companies realized an average of $16.97 in returns. This is significantly higher than the average for both enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM), which deliver, on average, $7.23 and $8.71 respectively. Nucleus found that companies taking advantage of Microsoft’s investments in cloud and usability, as well as integration and analytics, were able to achieve significant returns by increasing productivity and revenues and reducing costs. Microsoft's integration of business capabilities such as ERP, CRM, and HCM with Office 365, Power BI, Power Platform, and Azure offer even greater value than the industry averages and as Microsoft makes further investments in integration and innovation, customers will benefit from the additional value provided by the cloud platform.

The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Finance And Operations

Cloud simplicity, gained agility, improved user adoption, and enhanced security were a few of the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. The quantitative benefits over a three year period included:

  • Increased wholesale revenue by 3 percent, retail revenue by 4 percent and decreased excess inventory and shrinkage by 10 percent
  • Operational efficiencies reduced cost of goods sold by 10 percent and improved gross margin by 2.4 percent
  • Employee productivity gains reduced shop floor staffing by 6 percent, increased finance productive by 20 percent, and increased sales productivity by 4 percent
  • Total benefits resulted in a 60 percent ROI and a 20 month payback period, including legacy license, maintenance, hardware, and admin cost avoidance
The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Finance And Operations
Nucleus Research Value Wave Microsoft Dynamics 365

Nucleus Research ERP Technology Value Matrix

The ERP Value Matrix reflects the continued shift to the cloud, with vendors seeing accelerated adoption rates. Microsoft continues in its Leader position with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain, Enterprise Edition. All the enterprise capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics for Finance and Supply Chain, Enterprise edition are underpinned by Microsoft's global delivery strategy that includes 36 geographies and over 60 language localizations. Additionally, the Microsoft business application platform delivers capabilities such as Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, and the Microsoft Dataverse (formerly Common Data Service), helping customers better collect and analyze their data as well as build applications to automate manual tasks.

Microsoft Customer Insights Shines As a New Leader

Enterprises that invest in these leading customer analytics technologies to drive intelligent, optimized interactions with their customers will stand to benefit the most from these market changes. Launched in April 2019, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is an enterprise real-time CDP delivered as a self-service solution.

Forrester Wave Customer Analytics
Forrester TEI Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

The Total Economic Impact™ of Power Apps

Adopting Power Apps can transform a company's IT function from a blocker to an enabler. One interviewee in the Forrester Total Economic Impact Study said: "We can now build once and deploy to different places....We can now make changes on the fly and support a very dynamic business.” Benefits included:

  • 74 percent less cost to develop an application
  • 188 percent ROI over 3 years, with a net present value of $6.1 million
  • Average payback period is less than 6 months

Gartner Magic Quadrant: Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

Microsoft is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant. The Power BI Pro cloud service overtook most of its competitors in terms of functionality. It outstripped many by including innovative capabilities for augmented analytics and automated ML. AI-powered services, such as text, sentiment and image analytics, are available within Power BI and draw on Azure capabilities. The vast majority of Microsoft’s surveyed reference customers would recommend Power BI without qualification.

Gartner Magic Quadrant Microsoft Power BI
Forrester TEI Microsoft Azure

The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Azure IaaS

Microsoft commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by shifting some or all their management and operations from on-premises, hosted, and outsourced implementations to Azure’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering. Benefits included:

  • Improved production efficiency
  • Reduced datacenter, IT resource, and outsourcing costs
  • Easier and faster software and hardware management (such as patching and support)

Microsoft Security a Leader in 5 Magic Quadrants

Gartner has named Microsoft Security a Leader in five Magic Quadrants. This is exciting news that we believe speaks to the breadth and depth of our security offerings. Microsoft was identified as a Leader in the following five security areas:

  • Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) solutions
  • Access Management
  • Enterprise Information Archiving
  • Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) tools
  • Endpoint Protection Platforms
Microsoft Growth and Investments

A Platform for Today, Tomorrow, and Decades from Now

Microsoft offers a complete platform at a tremendous value. When you consider the billions of dollars invested in research and development, cloud growth, and long term viability, an investment in Microsoft makes long term sense.