Microsoft to Blend the Digital and Physical Shopping Experience

Microsoft and its Partners Showcase Unified Commerce Solutions at NRF 2016 That Give Consumers a Modern Shopping
Brendan O’Meara, Managing Director, Worldwide Retail at Microsoft

(New York, NY, Tuesday, January 19, 2016) – This week from the 2016 National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & Expo in New York, Microsoft partners and customers are showing off new retail solutions to make the shopping experience better for consumers and businesses.

This year it’s all about the customer – from providing new ways to share product information to inform buying decisions and speeding up the check-out process, the customer is always at the center of the retail experience whether they want to shop online or in stores.

At NRF, a Microsoft partners and customers will showcase modern retail solutions designed to help retailers increase sales, build customer loyalty and transform their business. Shoppers will no longer need to choose between shopping online or in the store – the newest technology is helping retailers create the next level of customer service: interactions with customers that are more personal, informed by real-life interactions as well as technology supported by the cloud. Some of these technologies are available today, and some will be here in the near future.

Customers and technology showcased by Microsoft include:

  • L’OrĂ©al is using Windows 10 and Microsoft Azure cloud and analytics technologies to power a crowd-sourced tool that lets customers get real-life insights and answers from fellow users of L’OrĂ©al beauty products. 
  • Mondelez International is demonstrating the diji-touch intelligent vending machine, whose interactive 3-D digital display lets customers view products and nutrition information, and receive advertising alerts about promotions and games where they have the opportunity to get free samples. The Windows 10 universal app also allows better maintenance and support for the machines, while the Azure IoT Dashboard displays machine error notifications and the exact locations for tech support in the field.
  • Gerrity’s supermarkets in Pennsylvania are implementing Skip, a phone-based app that lets customers scan and bag as they go, then skip the lines and use a dedicated express checkout lane to pay. Shoppers using Skip check out in a fraction of the time it takes regular shoppers to scan and pay.
  • Coop Italia, Italy’s largest supermarket chain, is transforming the shopping experience by giving shoppers tools and information to make their experience convenient, relevant and personalized. Interactive food display tables and smart shelves provide consumers with a range of product information such as allergens, nutritional data and carbon footprint. Digital displays also share real-time information on promotions and best-sellers while a mobile app helps customers navigate the store and identifies products that are compatible with their lifestyle needs.
  • FreedomPay is showing its latest commerce platform with Compass Group, the global leader in hospitality and foodservice. The EMV-ready (chip and pin) payment terminals, coupled with PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE), is the industry’s highest standard for payment data security. Microsoft has also developed a new point of sale (POS) solution with Windows 10 that will use Windows devices to make the traditional stationary POS terminal a mobile workstation for retail associates. The solution enables secure logon with Windows Hello and seamless access to receipt printers and other retail peripherals with Windows Continuum.

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