Microsoft Corp.

Why Preference Centers Are Key to Engaging Today’s Connected Consumers
November 1, 2013

Preference centers are the foundation of a brand's digitally connected infrastructure. They help companies recognize and engage their customers, and enable consumers to digitally connect with a brand on their terms. Brands need to consider the elements of channel, frequency and content, and let customers choose their own unique combinations of communication with the brand. The CRM concepts of right time, right message and right channel are steeped in analytics to deliver a message sometimes even before the customer knows they want it. You need to start with what the customer tells you, however, and then layer in more data to reach a rich customer profile.

Is Bing Making a Dent in Google's Dominance?
October 29, 2013

As websites continue to see a rise in visits from searches conducted on Bing, the search engine optimization world wonders about the degree of focus the search engine should be given. On average, Bing pales in comparison to Google at percentage of organic traffic share (10.5 percent vs. 78.1 percent in this year's third quarter). However, with Facebook Graph Search presenting Bing search results since January, and now Apple defaulting to Bing as a blanket solution for questions Siri can't answer, is Bing really beginning to gain ground? The answer is a little and there's potential for more, but no thanks to Siri or Facebook … yet.

Microsoft Releases 3 Videos Showing Off how Kinect for Windows can Work for Retailers
October 17, 2013

Today, Microsoft released three videos on how retailers can use its Xbox Kinect to increase customer engagement and in-store sales. The Next Web reports on how Microsoft is influencing the retail experience. "Ever since releasing the Kinect for Windows SDK, Microsoft has been updating it regularly with feature after feature. Today, the company wants to…

Amazon Preparing Bid for Barnes & Noble?
March 12, 2013

There's been a lot of buzz about who will make a bid for Barnes & Noble, with the current rumors including Wal-Mart and Microsoft. Both companies had kicked the tires in the past, and so it seems reasonable to expect they'd look again. But the real player in the space — and in some ways the most strategic buyer — would be, for a number of reasons that reflect the changing business of brick-and-mortar retail and Amazon's evolution.

5 Ways to Enhance an E-Commerce Site for Tablets
January 7, 2013

Online retailers must design sites that work well and look great on tablets as those devices emerge as a favorite for online shoppers. Designing for tablets include adaptive layouts, touch-sensitive navigation, great images and graphics, and fast load times. Some 25 percent of American's now own and use a tablet computer like Apple iPad, Google Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy Note, Amazon Kindle, and Microsoft Surface, according to an August 2012 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. 

Barnes & Noble Targets Pinterest Users in Holiday Nook Video
December 5, 2012

Nook Media, the joint partnership between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft, is appealing to scrapbookers and/or Pinterest users with a holiday video, Dear Santa, that promotes the Nook Catalog and Nook Scrapbook features on its Nook HD and HD+ devices. Nook Catalog and Nook Scrapbook were introduced with the devices when they launched on September 26.

E-Commerce Sites Slower Today Than 2 Years Ago (and Chrome is Slower Than Explorer)
September 21, 2012

Whatever happened to faster servers, better networks and improved usability? E-commerce sites are slower today than they were two years ago, according to a study of 2,000 top websites by StrangeLoop Networks. And perhaps even more shocking, Google's Chrome browser is slower, apparently, than Microsoft's much-maligned Internet Explorer. The 10-fastest sites Strangeloop found include photography super-site Adorama, Audible, J.Crew and Ralph Lauren's Polo, the winner with an average page load speed of just 1.93 seconds. That's almost 340 percent faster than today's average e-commerce website, which loads in a relatively pokey 6.5 seconds.

Microsoft to Open New Retail Stores for the Holidays
September 12, 2012

Microsoft has announced plans to open 30 "pop-up" holiday stores across the U.S. and two in Canada, an effort intended to drum up interest in Windows 8 and its Surface tablet ahead of the holiday shopping season. The Redmond, Wash. company operates 23 permanent stores nationwide with another eight opening soon. These locations are mostly on the east and west coasts: The holiday locations are placed in areas without permanent retail stores, with several in the Midwest. With the new locations, Microsoft's retail footprint more than doubles, if only temporarily.

J.C. Penney Tries to Look Boutique Chic
September 10, 2012

J.C. Penney will attempt to break away from the sea of clothing racks that dominate most department stores and replace the layout with brand-focused groups. The move is a way to appeal to customers prone to shop at more specialized boutiques, according to an article in the Kansas City Star. About 700 of the 1,100 Penney stores introduced new brand shops this month, including Liz Claiborne, Izod and Penney's brand, JCP. A Levi's brand shop opened in August, the article reported.

Technology Helps Barnes & Noble Survive ... and Thrive
June 7, 2012

As it watched its biggest competitor file for bankruptcy and cease operating, Barnes & Noble knew that a change to its business model was necessary for its survival. Specifically, that change meant shifting its focus to becoming a digital book seller. In his keynote address at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago yesterday, William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, detailed how the bookstore chain has used the web to redefine and grow its business.