Microsoft in Retail & Hospitality

The Microsoft in Retail blog discusses the challenges facing retailers and brands today, many of which we also share as a retailer, consumer goods company and a solution and technology provider. You’ll find posts from our Microsoft teams as well as from leaders in the industry. We welcome the conversation.

Latest Posts

10.22.2015Jeff Vogel, Director of Product Marketing, FreedomPay
The EMV liability shift deadline has now passed, and many merchants are struggling to adopt a strategy and technology to address the changing landscape of payments in the United States.
10.6.2015By Microsoft in Retail Blog Staff
The bright spot in the latest U.S. employment numbers was in retail, adding 18,700 jobs and beating out overall job growth for September.
10.5.2015Rebecca Needham, Industry Marketing Manager, Retail, Consumer Products, Hospitality & Travel
Just like today’s digital technologies have transformed the way we shop, change is taking root in the retail workforce and in the way it works.
9.29.2015Chris Barnard, Worldwide Industry Solution Director, Retail, Microsoft
Creating a thriving, flexible work environment can be a significant challenge, especially when it involves a highly mobile and global workforce.
9.25.2015Katy Smith, Digital Marketing Executive and Hannah Unsworth, Business Analyst, BrightStarr
All organizations need to be adaptable and modern in order to be competitive in the marketplace, but this has always been particularly crucial within the retail sector.
9.16.2015Doug Caywood, Worldwide Industry Director, Consumer Goods, Microsoft
Across the globe, businesses are connecting their things and harnessing their data to create powerful new business value. Connecting devices to IT systems is only the first step. The real value lies in the data that is created and transmitted from those devices as they interact with other devices and human beings, and the compelling business insights this data can enable.
8.26.2015Greg Jones, Managing Director, Worldwide Hospitality Industry, Microsoft
The restaurant industry is turning to technology to enhance the guest experience. Devices like tablets, placed at the table, can make guests’ dining experience more enjoyable, with a ready source of tableside entertainment and dining suggestions.
8.19.2015Rebecca Needham, Industry Marketing Manager, Retail, Consumer Products, Hospitality & Travel
In the battle for market share, the customer experience can set brands apart from the competition. To increase their competitiveness, retailers and brands are testing new business models and rolling out new technologies and services to drive customer experiences that are personal, seamless and differentiated.
8.6.2015Doug Caywood, Worldwide Industry Director, Consumer Goods, Microsoft
I’ve been traveling a lot lately, meeting with consumer goods brands and participating in a number of industry events. Now that I’m back at my desk, I wanted to share a few thoughts from my most recent trip to New York to attend The Consumer Goods Forum’s annual global summit, as it proved a good pulse on the state of the industry and what’s top of mind.
7.27.2015Rebecca Needham, Industry Marketing Manager, Retail, Consumer Products, Hospitality & Travel
Placing technology closer to the dining experience is a great way for restaurants to create a more connected experience with their guests and keep pace with guests’ expectations for greater technology when dining out.
7.24.2015Greg Jones, Managing Director, Worldwide Hospitality Industry, Microsoft
I recently joined the airline industry at the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Users Forum & Expo in Denver where airlines, suppliers and regulators came together to discuss today’s digital-era trends.
7.15.2015Greg Jones, Managing Director, Worldwide Hospitality Industry, Microsoft
Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Austin with our hospitality industry team to join the more than 6,000 participants at this year’s HITEC technology conference.
6.19.2015Doug Caywood, Worldwide Industry Director, Consumer Goods, Microsoft
As businesses work to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs and expectations of consumers, many are calling the customer experience the next competitive battleground.
6.11.2015Brendan O’Meara, Senior Director of Worldwide Retail and Consumer Goods, Microsoft Corp.
Engaging consumers during the shopping experience is essential for today’s retailers and consumer goods manufacturers. But it’s easier said than done.
6.10.2015Dave Rodgerson, Senior Industry Market Development Manager, Microsoft Canada
Each year, the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) stages its annual conference, better known as STORE. This year, the theme of the event was “Harnessing Disruption”, a concept that plays well to Microsoft’s capabilities as a productivity company with a Cloud First, Mobile First perspective.
6.5.2015Greg Jones, Managing Director, Worldwide Hospitality Industry, Microsoft
It’s that time of year again, when hospitality and technology unite for the world’s largest hospitality industry tech exposition in Austin, Texas. And this will be an exciting year for sure!
6.2.2015Greg Jones, Managing Director, Worldwide Hospitality Industry, Microsoft
This year’s National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show made it clear. Restaurants are going digital as they explore new ways to better serve and engage with their customers.
5.14.2015ShiSh Shridhar, Global Industry Director, Retail Solutions, Microsoft
In the retail industry’s quest for innovative ways to connect with customers, personalized marketing through mobile devices offers an opportunity to reinvent the shopper experience by increasing promotion redemption rates and nurturing a deeper level of customer engagement. And retailers are recognizing the need to get personal.
5.12.2015Doug Caywood, Worldwide Industry Director, Consumer Goods, Microsoft
In today’s fiercely competitive consumer goods (CG) marketplace, CG companies want to get closer to their customers and innovate. At the center of this quest is data.
4.27.2015Greg Jones, Managing Director, Worldwide Hospitality Industry, Microsoft
Last week, I held a webcast talking about how hoteliers can differentiate their brands through in-room innovation.
4.24.2015Greg Jones, Managing Director, Worldwide Hospitality Industry, Microsoft
We’re all seeing it. More of our basic consumer experiences include technology in one way, shape or form: mobile apps, loyalty, enhanced point-of-sale and direct customer engagement.
4.17.2015Brendan O'Meara, Senior Director of Worldwide Retail and Consumer Goods, Microsoft Corp.
Engaging consumers during the shopping experience is essential for today’s retailers. But it’s easier said than done.
4.9.2015Brendan O'Meara, Senior Director, Retail & Consumer Goods, Microsoft
We predicted in January that 2015 would bring incredible change and innovation in the retail industry—especially around how retailers interact with their customers including modern POS devices.
4.1.2015Greg Jones, Managing Director, WW Hospitality Industry, Microsoft Corporation
The hospitality industry is increasingly challenged to engage guests anywhere, anytime, across any device, while maintaining brand experience and consistency.
3.23.2015Rebecca Needham, Industry Marketing Manager, Retail, Consumer Products, Hospitality & Travel
Back in January at NRF, PayPal and Microsoft announced point-of-sale solutions with small business retailers in mind. It’s a win-win: consumers get immediate, secure mobile payment options and small business owners get one device that accomplishes a range of business operation tasks, not just for point-of-sale.
3.22.2015Shish Shridhar, Director for Business Intelligence Solutions
According to Gartner, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a powerful force for business transformation, and its disruptive impact will be felt across all industries and all areas of society. They forecast that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, reaching 25 billion by 2020.
2.23.2015Chris Barnard, Director, Social & Productivity Solutions in Retail, Hospitality & Travel, Microsoft
An exciting part of my role is sharing and hearing stories on how technology helps organizations. If a picture is worth a thousand words, these latest videos speak volumes to how Henkel is a faster and more agile company.
2.16.2015Jeff Vogel, Director of Product Marketing, FreedomPay
Retailers are facing an industry-mandated deadline of October 2015 to support EMV (chip-and-PIN) cards at the point of sale.
2.10.2015Brendan O'Meara, Worldwide Managing Director, Retail & Consumer Goods, Microsoft
To catch you up since our last newsletter in December and the busyness of NRF, here’s a look at the retail & consumer goods industry highlights from Microsoft.
2.3.2015Shish Shridhar, Director for Business Intelligence Solutions
This was my 10th year attending the NRF Big Show and I have been constantly amazed at its rapid growth over the years, especially from being heavily US-focused to being a truly global conference for Retailers. Microsoft’s presence at NRF has been getting bigger over the years and I have had the opportunity to speak at the Big Ideas sessions several times, be part of the official NRF Bloggers team and most importantly meet and learn a lot about the ever changing landscape of Retail.
1.14.2015Thomas Hansen, Vice President of Worldwide SMB, Microsoft
This week, Microsoft participated in the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York, where we showed what the future of retail will look like and highlighted how customers like GameStop and Hardee’s are creating better shopping experiences through the use of technology. One of the key takeaways from NRF is that modern shopping and modern retail are no longer just for big companies.
1.12.2015Tracy Issel, General Manager, Worldwide Retail, Consumer Goods, Hospitality and Travel, Microsoft
At Microsoft, we believe this will be the year when modern shopping experiences come to life. Where retailers create instant, personalized experiences for shoppers on their smartphone, online and in stores.
1.12.2015Jeremy Korst, General Manager, Windows Product Marketing
Hi, I am Jeremy Korst and I lead Windows Product Marketing here at Microsoft. Microsoft is in New York this week at the National Retail Federation’s Annual “Big Show” talking with retailers about how we are helping reinvent the overall in-store shopping experience for customers. We are showing how several of global retail brands are improving engagement with their customers to help grow sales, increase customer satisfaction and bring more efficiency to their business processes.
1.12.2015Wayne Morris, CVP, Microsoft Dynamics
This week’s National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York City will feature the latest technology products and solutions for retailers. But amidst the sea of booths and flurry of marketing materials at the show, retailers need to ask whether or not these latest innovations are addressing what they really need.
1.12.2015Marty Ramos, CTO, Retail, Consumer Products & Services, Microsoft Corp
One of the challenges in retail is to create an in-store experience that engages customers in unique ways, entices them to come in to stores, and keep them coming back. Creating those connections creates better experiences and ultimately increases sales. At NRF this year Microsoft is announcing several innovations – the SmartShelf, Path Tracker, and MediaCart – that were developed with partners and will help brick and mortar retailers compete in the digital age.
1.12.2015 Brendan O’Meara,Senior Director of Worldwide Retail and Consumer Goods, Microsoft Corp
2015 will bring incredible change and innovation in the retail industry, especially around how retailers interact with their customers including modern point-of-sale (POS) devices. These new POS devices will provide a more personalized and secure shopping experience, allowing retailers to be mobile or stationary at the POS, make tailored offers to customers while they’re checking out, and meet new security requirements.
1.9.2015Daron Yöndem, Chief Technology Officer, XOMNI Inc
A seamless customer experience is crucial in retail. Today, retail stores are full of diverse technologies waiting for consumers to access them.
12.15.2014Sahir Anand, VP Research & Principal Analyst
As promised in my last blog post, outlined below are some un-biased views and facts related to the never-ending operational barriers in retail and ways to tackle these barriers in 2015. The coming year offers an opportunity to develop a unified view of each customer and inventory, and identify what technologies, in-store services, supply chain strategies and interactive methods are most important to them. This will be key to prioritizing investments in 2015.
12.3.2014Sahir Anand
I hate to say this but barring some retail segments, by most counts the retail industry stumbled during this year’s Black Friday weekend. While the jury is out on whether the industry can pull overall positive sales comp for the 2014 holiday season, consumers stand to benefit as there are plenty of deals to be had out there.
11.12.2014 Arthur Tindsley
As you will have seen from Owen Sagness’s blog ‘Collaboration between Microsoft and John Lewis sees ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’ come to life’ in our latest venture, the Microsoft’s creative technologists (including myself), worked with John Lewis, Adam and Eve and Manning Gottlieb OMD to create Monty’s Magical Toy Machine, a breakthrough, immersive in-shop experience in the John Lewis flagship store on Oxford Street in London, bringing the iconic John Lewis Christmas campaign to life by enabling toys to come alive using a Kinect 2-enabled 3D interactive.
11.4.2014Rebecca Needham
Convergence 2014 Europe is this week in beautiful Barcelona! The Convergence 2014 agenda focuses on the opportunities for business leaders offered by the Microsoft Cloud for Business. Business applications that simplify and improve business processes are core to Microsoft’s effort to reimagine productivity.
10.24.2014Tracy Issel
At an event on Monday, October 20 Satya Nadella, CEO, and Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft, talked Microsoft’s approach for delivering the most complete cloud across every business, industry and geography, which is essential in retail.
10.22.2014Shish Shridhar, Director for Business Intelligence Solutions
One of the interesting announcements that came out of Strata+Hadoop World last week was the new machine learning (ML) capabilities in the Azure Marketplace.
10.15.2014 Dave Rodgerson, Senior Industry Business Development Manager, Microsoft
It’s quite exciting when you think about how mobility has changed the customer experience. You can buy almost anything, from anywhere, any time of the day.
9.17.2014Jason Jefferys, CEO, iRiS Software Systems Ltd.
64% of hotels now offer free wireless Internet (WIFI) to guests, which has become one of the, if not the, most sought after amenity for hotel guests worldwide, whether traveling for business or leisure.
9.8.2014Sahir Anand
Over the past quarter, I attended the traditionally busy season of retail user and industry conferences. Each conference offered a unique set of retailer stories and perspectives on ways to solve retail industry’s growing problems with data and its’ myriad of marketed ways to solve these problems by harnessing ‘Big Data’.
8.25.2014Karl Redenbach
The Autumn 2014 issue of Speak magazine looks at how the internet of things will change the way market goods are bought and sold, and explores how Microsoft partner, OSC, helped Dixons Retail to transform the way its employees work together.
8.18.2014Tracy Issel
Tapping into the Internet of Things (IoT) mega-trend is becoming table stakes for businesses wanting to compete in virtually any industry. Retailers who want to maximize sales and optimize customer service need to equip sales staff to become brand and customer champions, optimize operations to meet customer expectations, offer interactive, differentiated in-store experiences—and much more.
8.12.2014Michael Taylor
I recently spoke with Speak Magazine’s Rebecca Gibson to discuss how Intel® processor-based tablets help to improve productivity in the mobile workforce. With the explosion of mobile workers and new devices available in market, now is a great time for retailers to consider taking advantage of new opportunities.
6.25.2014Shish Shridhar, Director for Business Intelligence Solutions
Retailers, today, have access to a variety of data sources that include social media, opendata, data generated by the internet of things.
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6.18.2014Sahir Anand VP Research & Principal Analyst EKN, An Edgell Communications Co.
Is the mobility and device revolution motivating or debilitating retailers in their quest to win consumer mindshare and walletshare?
5.21.2014Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Trustworthy Computing
IT departments at retail businesses are expected to manage a number of important security tasks, some of which have evolved considerably in recent years. This includes meeting regulatory requirements, such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) specifications on protecting customer data, without diminishing the shopping experience in stores or online.
5.19.2014Brendan O’Meara, Worldwide Senior Managing Director for Retail and Consumer Goods, Microsoft EPG
It’s been a busy spring for our team and a busy few months for Microsoft as a company with a number of conferences including the Build 2014 developer conference, our SharePoint Conference and Microsoft Dynamics Convergence, and many new product developments released at these events.
3.3.2014Tracy Issel
Our industry team continues to take the pulse of the clients we serve including retail, consumer goods, hospitality, and travel. As part of our overall mission to bring industry-relevant business solutions to market we also listen and respond to client inquiries on various hot topics.
2.26.2014Shish Shridhar
The world of data is changing and retailers are challenged by the increasing scale, complexity and velocity of data. The past few decades have seen exponential growth in computing and storage: driven by Moore's Law, computing power has increased dramatically, making the modern laptop more powerful than a supercomputer from 1980s.
2.5.2014Colin Masson
A few months ago we brought together retail and consumer goods companies in Grocery in "Reimagining Retail Execution with Windows 8.1 Tablets," where there was tangible excitement about the prospect of then yet to be released Windows 8.1 tablets and peripherals that could meet the varied and exacting needs of in-store managers, associates and merchants
2.5.2014Brad Anderson
Throughout this series I’ve taken a close look at the definition of a Hybrid Cloud, our perspective on why a Hybrid environment is so valuable, and a piece-by-piece look at the solutions and tools that constitute a Hybrid Cloud. All of this was followed by an equally detailed look at how to plan, build, deploy, operate, and save money with a Hybrid Cloud. With this foundation in mind, now I want to show how the Hybrid Cloud can go to work.
2.4.2014Brendan O'Meara
There are few topics that are more top of mind in Retail than mobile devices. On the heels of the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York, the industry is abuzz with talk about how tablets and handheld devices are reaching a tipping point in the Retail industry.
1.10.2014the Power BI team at Microsoft
With the holiday shopping craziness over, we wanted to use Power BI to analyze the last 5 years of research around Black Friday and Cyber Monday including spending, new trends in online shopping and the use of different devices.
1.7.2014Shish Shridhar
I came across a fascinating blog post by Stephen Wolfram on the launch of the Wolfram Connected Devices Project. The media is abuzz with news about everyday devices having the capability of collecting data and communicating with other devices via the internet.
1.6.2014Shish Shridhar
Once again, this year, we will be at the NRF Big Show with some amazing Retail Solutions and Partners. New York will once again be THE place to be when the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show comes to town from January 13 - 14, 2014.
1.4.2014Shish Shridhar
The Expedia Affiliate Network is an excellent source of Hotel information and has REST API’s that you can use in Excel 2013 via Power Query. You can register for an account via
1.2.2014Shish Shridhar
A walkthrough of some of the research I did over the weekend on how to use Real Time Data in Excel. I used Power Query to acquire real time airport data from FlightStats, Inc..
12.30.2013Shish Shridhar
I have been curious about handling real-time flight data using Excel. One of the scenarios of interest in the Airline world is realtime data about flights, airports & delays. has real-time data available on their site and interestingly also have an API that can be accessed using a developer account.
12.30.2013Shish Shridhar
I have been curious about handling real-time flight data using Excel. One of the scenarios of interest in the Airline world is realtime data about flights, airports & delays. has real-time data available on their site and interestingly also have an API that can be accessed using a developer account.
12.8.2013Shish Shridhar
This is the time of year when airline travel is peaking and I was intrigued by the data visualization provided by FlightAware called the Misery Map. I love the real time nature of the data and the weather patterns that overlay the geospatial visualization.
11.20.2013Christian Johanneson
Digital retail marketing, online shopping experiences and in-store interactive are changing the way people shop. It is no longer enough to create great merchandising experiences online and in-store.
11.20.2013Colin Masson
Research from Microsoft Advertising's Consumer Insights team, shows that many of us research brands and prices on our (largely) digital path to purchase on PCs and tablets, and armed with our smartphone, we as shoppers are often better informed than the retail store associate.
11.15.2013Shish Shridhar
I have been experimenting with the Bing Ads Intelligence Addin for Excel lately and find that in addition to Keyword analysis for SEO, it can also provide excellent insights into customer trends and demographics.
11.8.2013Shish Shridhar
Bing Ads Intelligence is an Excel add-in that helps you perform sophisticated keyword research and observe keyword performance on the Yahoo! Bing Network. You can install the Addin via this LINK.
11.5.2013Vic Miles
The retail industry has been in the midst of a paradigm change. The industry is not known for making these shifts quickly and without clear impact on sales increases.
8.22.2013Shish Shridhar
Thanks to Tina Munro, I had the unique opportunity of speaking at The Upstairs in downtown Seattle. The setting was interesting as it was in a homey Belltown bar. The talk was on something that fascinates me: finding unique combinations of data from multiple public sources and determining correlations and patterns hidden within.
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