Modern device strategy: How Surface helps retailers navigate second wave of digital transformation
Published Dec 12 2022 04:26 PM 7,143 Views

If 2020 taught us anything, no business is resilient to everything, but retailers who laid their digital tracks early were better equipped to adapt to this new world. Faced with supply chain disruptions and unprecedented increases in employee turnover, retailers need more help than ever from technology and digital tools to improve employee engagement and customer experiences. This second wave of digital transformation has triggered enduring structural changes that are redefining a new normal.


Retailers are connecting their physical locations with digital experiences to better serve customers and build a more connected organization from the sales/shop floor to the c-suite. Offline merchants are embracing new business models, like contactless shopping and curbside pickup. It’s an upheaval that brings new opportunities for retailers in an ever-competitive market – helping consumers find what they're looking for, anticipating demand, or simply showing store associates that they’re valuable.


Why Surface

Microsoft Surface for Business offers a versatile device portfolio with industry-leading security to empower retail employees to be more engaged and connect physical and digital retail experiences to better serve customers. Light, mobile, and powerful, Surface devices deliver value and a premium experience that fits the needs of personas across retail, from store managers, sales floor associates, and warehouse workers to district managers, corporate executives, and back-office staff.


Surface devices and Microsoft 365 work together to empower retail employees with:


  • A versatile portfolio of devices and features that support next-level employee productivity and collaboration from anywhere.
  • Cloud-managed devices that enable IT to provide zero-touch deployment and seamless device management.
  • Chip-to-cloud security to help keep customer data safer.
  • Devices are designed with circularity in mind, meaning we follow a ‘reduce, reuse, and recover’ model.[1]


Modern device strategy for Retail

Microsoft Surface helps retailers implement a modern device strategy for their frontline workers while providing industry-leading security and remote management controls. Retailers can take advantage of the synergies between Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Surface and realize potential benefits, including improved employee engagement, better communications with corporate and across stores, greater levels of security, and efficient device management. Surface devices provide versatile form factors and industry-leading security features to help support a wide variety of needs that frontline workers have as retailers digitally transform to modernize all aspects of the shopping experience.


Portfolio diversity

Microsoft has created new categories of hardware to support the diverse requirements of retail workers. For example, lightweight 2-in-1 devices feature tablet-to-laptop flexibility, combining the power of a laptop with the portability and touch interactions of a tablet. The Surface Studio 2+ is an all-in-one computer that transforms your space from desktop to digital canvas to work with a digital pen on a 28-inch PixelSense™ touchscreen display. Microsoft also innovates on traditional designs, such as laptops that offer the power required for the most demanding apps and graphics and the flexibility to bring the device to the sales floor or work from home.


Let’s take a look at how Surface meets the requirements of key employee roles:


Retail Store Manager

Being a retail store manager is a challenging task. Above all, they must stay connected while going back and forth from the retail sales floor, warehouse, and back office. The best performers collaborate well with department leads and other stores to better employee engagement and customer experiences. Pitching new products and promotions that resonate with customers is vital.


Surface Pro 9: The most powerful Surface 2-in-1

The latest Surface Pro 9 allows retailers to seamlessly interact with customers with tablet portability, laptop performance, and extended battery life.[2] Portable enough to carry all day, yet powerful enough to replace your laptop. Choose the performance sales associates need for the work they do with either Intel® Evo™ or Microsoft SQ® 3 with 5G[3]. Collect digital signatures with a pen[4] that’s charged and always within reach. A Secured- core PC elevates Windows 11 security benefits for employees handling the most sensitive data.




Retail Store Associate

Top retail store associates are constantly talking with customers, responding to questions with timely information to help them make the best purchase decisions.


Surface Go 3: Laptop-to-tablet flexibility that goes anywhere

Surface Go 3 makes it easy to access product information on the sales floor, communicate new products and promotions clearly, and make a good impression on customers. Ideal for retail sales associates who need a mobile, lightweight device powerful enough to run the apps they rely on while on the sales floor. Our lightest Surface starts at just 1.2 lb.[5] with a compact tablet-on-the-go design, HD 10.5” PixelSense™ touchscreen display, all-day battery life, and optional LTE Advanced connectivity.[6] Able to handle everything from mobile apps to comprehensive full-feature desktop software.




The UAG Mobile Pay System Case allows you to transform your Surface Go 3 tablet into a versatile point-of-sale solution that elevates the customer experience and retail operations.


Unify modern point of sale and customer experiences with Dynamics 365 Commerce

The new Store Commerce app for Windows not only empowers retail frontline workers to quickly and efficiently process sales and capture payments but is also a powerful tool that enables mobile line-busting, personalized assisted selling, endless aisle, and clienteling. It can also streamline in-store operations with inventory management and omni-channel order processing and fulfillment.


Warehouse/Distribution Center Operations

Running ops at a warehouse or distribution center is critical to customer experience. They need to input real-time data during shipping and delivery, check inventory and supply levels to manage the supply chain, and connect with others in the warehouse and operations through Microsoft Teams.


The MobileDemand Rugged xCase for Surface Go with Barcode Scanner accessory7 lets you turn Surface Go into a barcode scanner to scan barcodes for quick identification of packages, products or parts in a warehouse, stock room, store, truck, and more.


Corporate HQ (Mobile/Hybrid Information Workers)

Back at corporate headquarters, mobile and hybrid information workers need to stay connected and productive while keeping data secure when working from different locations. While collaborating in Teams meetings, they need crisp audio and video while on calls. On the road, longer battery life keeps them working on the go unplugged.


Surface Pro 9 with 5G

Experience next-generation video calls enabled by AI! On Surface Pro 9 with 5G, you (not your barking dog or the neighbor’s lawnmower) are at the center of every call with Automatic Framing. Take video calls to the next level with Windows Studio, powered by the Neural Processing Unit (NPU).


If your eyes veer off the camera, it will immediately course correct so that the other person doesn't even see it. Along with Automatic Framing and Noise Cancellation, the set of AI experiences includes voice activation, face detection, gesture tracking, and more. Best of all, for retail multitaskers on the go, the new Surface Pro 9 with 5G provides up to 19 hours of battery life.


Service and sustainability

At Microsoft, we believe the needs of our customers can co-exist with the needs of our planet. Microsoft has a commitment to be carbon-negative, water positive, and zero waste by 2030[8]. We know that Surface plays a key role in helping the company achieve these goals, which is why we have clear strategies and goals for embedding sustainability within our devices and supply chain, making sustainability a core part of our product promise and design language. We know that we have less than a decade to make a difference by 2030, and that’s why at Surface, we aim to create devices that reduce carbon impact across their lifecycles, reduce waste, and are built with integrity.


Chip to cloud security

With Surface, every layer of Surface from chip to cloud is maintained by Microsoft, giving you ultimate control, proactive protection, and peace of mind wherever and however work gets done

  • Proactively block threats with security that’s always up to date, down to the boot and firmware level. Microsoft-built UEFI[9] enables IT to manage firmware through Microsoft Endpoint Manager[10] so you can reduce risk at the firmware level. 
  • Reduce reliance on passwords with biometric authentication. Logging on is secure, personal and convenient with either Windows Hello or Fingerprint ID on select keyboard models.
  • Your Surface device is securely booted to ensure Windows 11 is authentic at every stage. Surface devices’ Root of Trust checks signatures and measurements to help ensure each stage is secure and authentic before allowing the next phase of boot to proceed.  
  • Help ensure highly classified data remains protected from spying, keeping your environment more secure. Surface can be managed at the firmware level, meaning capabilities like the camera can be turned off for any device in highly secure areas.


Microsoft Cloud for Retail

Microsoft Cloud for Retail accelerates business growth by providing trusted retail industry solutions that integrate with retailer’s existing systems. Through this complete set of retail specific capabilities across the Microsoft Cloud portfolio, in addition to partner solutions, it becomes possible to seamlessly connect your customers, your people, and your data. Microsoft Cloud for Retail brings together different data sources across the retail value chain and connects experiences throughout the shopper journey using capabilities from Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Azure. To learn more, visit Microsoft Cloud for Retail | Microsoft Industry



By choosing Microsoft Surface for Business, retailers can provide a premium experience to all employees while standardizing procurement and providing industry-leading security and remote management controls.


Learn more

Register for a Surface in Retail in-person lunch-and-learn at the Microsoft Experience Center on Monday, January 16, 2023, to learn how to modernize your retail operations with Microsoft Surface for Business. Transportation for NRF attendees will be provided to and from the Javits Convention Center. Limited spots available - sign up today


To learn more about Surface for Business, visit Industry Solutions - Microsoft Surface for Business and reach out to your Surface Account Manager.



* Sold separately

[1] See 2021 Environmental Sustainability Report

[2] Battery life varies significantly based on usage, network and feature configuration, signal strength, settings and other factors. Find out more at

[3] 5G not available in all areas, mmWave in US only. Supports Sub-6 GHz, not available in all areas; compatibility and performance depend on carrier network, plan and other factors. See carrier for details and pricing.

[4] Surface Slim Pen 2 sold separately.

[5] Weight not including Surface Go Type Cover.

[6] LTE availability may vary by market and configuration. Visit for updates on availability in your market.

[7] Sold separately.

[8] 2021 Environmental Sustainability Report

[9] Surface Go, and Surface Go 2 use a third-party UEFI and do not support DFCI. Find out more about managing Surface UEFI settings and Surface devices on which DFCI is enabled.

[10] Sold separately. Software license required for some features.

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‎Dec 11 2023 01:14 PM
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