According to IntoMobile, Verizon is about to introduce paperless receipts at their retails stores. This seems like a great idea for existing customers though I’d love to see this get some NFC integration … tap to pay have it billed via ISIS (the VZ invested consortium) and show up in your docs and receipts.
I don’t even use VZ, but this seems like a very natural fit that could offer great customer benefit. Isis has yet to announce what phones will be supported though Verizon does currently carry the payments-capable Galaxy Nexus. I’m not sure you’d really even need the secure element aspect of NFC payments (opening to potentially more NFC devices) though it would benefit the Isis bit more if they focused on that for newer phones and upgrades.
As you may have read already today, Microsoft intends to launch retail stores which strikes me as a serious challenge. Unlike Apple which has had great success with their retail strategy, Microsoft relies far too much on their external ecosystem to tell their whole story.
Microsoft has a solid story around connected entertainment with Xbox, Zune and MCE and Apple still regards this area as a hobby with AppleTV. This is a small piece of what they will most likely (my guess) be looking to sell though and I wonder how highlighted OEM partners will be selected to display on the PC side. Given the existing channels in which Microsoft products are sold, Iâ€™m wondering whether a store in a store concept might not actually be a better play here.
Microsoft will definitely have a lot to contend with on the consumer experience side as their system is still quite a bit more complex to setup and manage. It should be an interesting year for retail â€¦. Apple is apparently also retooling their stores to offer more a differentiated experience via the Mac solution.