Since the first Microsoft Store opened its doors, its retail space has been largely dedicated to the consumer segment, particularly with showcase products such as Xbox. While nothing has stopped small business customers from shopping at a Microsoft Store, the experience has not been specifically tailored with them in mind.
Acknowledging this gap, Microsoft has launched dedicated 'SMB Zones' in their stores, providing an opportunity for small business customers to check out business-grade technology and also obtain specifically tailored technical advice. Microsoft partners can also leverage these spaces to demonstrate the advantages of Microsoft's latest products and technologies to their customers in addition to their own services.
Alongside the launch of SMB Zones, Microsoft Stores have also rolled out a new leasing program called 'Accelerate Your Business'. The program has been designed to streamline the device ownership lifecycle with the provision of warranty options, monthly repayments and the ability to trade in devices at the end of the lease. These benefits are supplemented with access to "best-in-class in-Store and online training and support."
Otherwise, the subscription-based Surface Membership program provides an alternative specifically for Microsoft's range of devices.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs will still be able to enlist the help of business sales specialists in-store or at their place of work. Otherwise, advisors at the Answer Desk inside the Microsoft Store can provide support for PCs, tablets and phones free of charge.