The Microsoft Retail Experience Center at CES 2016 took attendees on a journey through today’s complex retail landscape, one in which the physical and digital are converging, omnichannel is king and consumers are in the driver’s seat. Loaded with information on products, ratings and reviews, these denizens of the digital age often bypass the brick-and-mortar experience altogether to make purchases online. Microsoft showcased its solutions to this challenge in a series of branded environments that leveraged technology to tell its new retail story, and hinted at the larger transformation undergone by its leadership team and product offerings in the recent past.
“My intent was to drive an immersive experience that gave the retailer some perspective on how Microsoft is trying to rethink this space, and to show how we are moving from ‘powering shopping’ to ‘empowering buying,’” says Sean Ludick, gm-worldwide channel marketing at Microsoft. “The convergence of physical and digital is something we are very passionate about and we are working closely with our partners to drive solutions for them and our consumers.”
The invited retail partners who went through the space experienced the non-linear shopping journey typical of today’s consumers. And just like the modern shopping experience, it was interactive and driven by the attendees. Microsoft created a retail experience without the traditional trappings of a retail store—there were no fixtures or fittings here. Instead, attendees found a 20-foot interactive touch wall, an augmented reality exploration of Microsoft’s merchandising options, a multi-lingual retail pro hologram and more.
This shopping journey, as you will see from the photos below, begins digitally before the consumer gets to the store, then offers a hands-on, omni-sensory in-store experience that bridges the physical and digital divide. Agencies: The Michael Alan Group, New York City (creative, production management, event management); Sparks, Philadelphia (build); Poken, New York City; AVA Retail, Redmond, WA; PRSONAS, Durham, NC; Future Colossal, New York City; Impact AV, Burbank, CA; Kinetic Active, New York City
Gallery: Inside the Microsoft Retail Experience Center at CES 2016