Improving the retail experience with Windows 8

Windows 8 makes it easy to give customers what they want and need.

Retailers today are faced with unprecedented challenges as any visit to the high street will confirm. Empty outlets are common and many will often only be occupied by charity shops or the same old familiar coffee shops as buyers turn to the internet for lowest-possible prices or out-of-town megastores for maximum convenience. Stores that don't have a strong online presence or app struggle against rivals that have a more advanced virtual store-front. Big-name stores have entered bankruptcy or are desperately reinventing themselves to stay relevant. It's a bleak picture but one that is redeemed by opportunity. Supply chains and distribution are now global and the web makes it possible to market and sell to a global audience and scale in line with demand. There are more channels than ever before for consumers and the old virtues of delivering value and great service are as relevant as ever before. Brand and marketing excellence remain powerful differentiators, operational efficiency is a necessity and understanding the dynamics of store layout is persuasive.

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It's a buyer's market: armed with product information, pricing comparisons and even knowledge of inventory levels and product refresh cycles, a new breed of super-consumer is emerging. The retailer has to adapt to meet this keen-eyed buyer and somehow resist the race to the bottom' of competing on price alone. Joining up multiple channels to address different types of buyer will be critical and the ultimate aim of delighting consumers remains as relevant as ever.

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