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By Peter K. Han, Microsoft Vice President of US OEM
I’m fascinated when industries converge to such a degree that they become more powerful together than they are by themselves. Retail and technology are two such industries, and their mutually beneficial relationship was underscored at the 2014 National Retail Federation convention earlier this month. At the event, IHL Group President, Greg Buzek, shared research findings indicating that 2014 will be one for innovation and growth in the retail space, with retailers planning to invest at unprecedented levels in technologies that expand their businesses.
In turn, both hardware and software innovators have a massive opportunity to solve problems and expand their own businesses with the retail market. More shopping is happening online, connected consumers expect streamlined, social experiences and even the smallest retailers are competing on a global scale, thanks to the Internet. And amidst—and because of—all of this shifting, Microsoft and its partners are delivering end-to-end solutions and devices that empower retailers to thrive in today’s shopping environment.
We were proud to share our thinking and technologies for the retail industry at the NRF convention. It was an exciting event for our company and our OEM partners, as we debuted the commercial Windows 8.1 tablets geared towards retail, as well as offered a view into the new Microsoft Dynamics for Retail features, expected in April of this year.
As a retailer, I hope you’re excited, too. These innovations can help you make the sale and, more broadly, increase the industry’s power to meet the need for the customers of the future:
Technology’s role in the consumer shopping experience has exponentially grown in recent years, and so should its role in the retailers’ operational and customer service strategies.
How is your retail business using technology to maximize the shopping environment or serve your customers? Or how are you, as an OEM, capitalizing on the increasingly tech-centric retail landscape? Follow me on Twitter @PeterHanMSFT and share your ideas.