Macy’s, Inc. has today outlined its latest advancements in omnichannel strategy and technology as the company continues to add new dimensions for attracting shoppers and serving the needs of individual customers.
Here are examples of emerging omnichannel strategy and technology at Macy’s, Inc., encompassing stores, online and mobile:
Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores will be among the first retailers to support the new Apple Pay mobile payment system which will be available beginning this fall on new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mobile devices, as well as on the newly unveiled Apple Watch.
— MultichannelMerchant (@mcmerchant) September 10, 2014
The convenience of mobile payment at the point-of-sale is becoming increasingly interesting to customers, and Apple Pay offers an opportunity to further simplify the point-of-sale process in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores in an easy, secure and private manner.
More details will be available in October, when the new service is scheduled to launch.
Macy’s Wallet/Bloomingdale’s Wallet
Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have introduced new mobile wallets. The Macy’s Wallet and Bloomingdale’s Wallet enables shoppers to easily store and access offers and coupons virtually. The wallet creates a seamless, omnichannel checkout experience for customers enrolled in loyalty rewards programs (Macy’s Star Rewards and Bloomingdale’s Loyallist), whether in-store, on the go via their mobile devices or at home through desktop interaction.
Storing this information in a single destination eliminates the need for physical versions of special discount offers or other shopping incentives. The wallets are already available to customers with profiles on macys.com and/or bloomingdales.com, where shoppers can currently access the functionality via desktop, mobile devices and in-store at point of sale registers nationwide. In November, the company’s mobile apps will add the wallet function to complete the omnichannel experience.
Same Day Delivery
Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s this fall will begin piloting same-day delivery of products purchased online at macys.com, bloomingdales.com and on both brands’ mobile-enabled websites.
Macy’s will offer same-day delivery to customers in eight major U.S. markets – Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Jersey, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Bloomingdale’s will offer same-day delivery to customers in four major markets – Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.
Specific details will be provided as the pilots are launched. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s same-day delivery is built on an operational foundation that has enabled Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s customers to buy online and pickup in store.
Deliveries to customers will be powered by Deliv.
Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPS) Rollout Completed
BOPS, originally piloted in fall 2013, recently completed its rollout to all full-line Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s store locations nationwide.
Innovation in Stores Selling Technology
Macy’s is piloting a variety of selling technology innovations at select stores in Georgia and New Jersey. These include a new generation of enhanced handheld point-of-sale devices and tablets designed to improve the in-store shopping experience by enabling sales associates to engage customers more effectively, offer merchandise ideas and product information, and speed transactions.
Macy’s is testing Connect@Macy’s Centers in selected locations as in-store destinations for online order pickup, with increased associate staffing to help customers with styling advice and products that meet their needs. In pilot stores, customers also can shop Macy’s omnichannel assortment via electronic kiosks and large interactive “lookbook” displays, and purchase on mobile devices if they prefer.
Those elements of new point-of-sale technology deemed most successful in serving customer needs are expected to be refined and rolled out to additional stores.
Enhanced Shopping Apps
Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s both have launched all-new mobile shopping apps for iOS and Android. Enhanced navigation allows customers to easily and quickly move between features, reach desired product with fewer clicks, check-out more quickly, as well as the enhanced ability to manage gift registries. New improvements to the shopping experience on the mobile apps will be continually added throughout the fall season and beyond.
— MultichannelMerchant (@mcmerchant) September 16, 2014
Macy’s Image Search
The company has begun deploying new technology concepts created in its San Francisco-based Idea Lab at macys.com and then built quickly in its lean development organization. Among them is Macy’s Image Search, an all-new app that allows customers to search the merchandise assortment on macys.com by taking and submitting a photograph of any outfit, accessory or merchandise item they see in daily life.
The visual search will take the customer to similar items on macys.com, where they can be purchased. Macy’s Image Search is currently available for iPhone from the Apple App Store, and the functionality will be incorporated into the primary Macy’s app.
RFID Yielding Results and Expanding
Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are seeing tangible results from their adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that began rolling out in 2011. Macy’s, Inc. was among the first retailers to implement RFID on a broad national scale to improve the accuracy of item-level inventory counting, with an emphasis on basic size-intensive replenishment categories so the company can ensure that all appropriate styles and sizes are properly in place on the selling floor and available for sale.
In recent omnichannel pilots in fashion categories – social dresses, men’s sportcoats and men’s slacks – Macy’s documented RFID’s ability to significantly improve sales, gross margins and markdowns by better leveraging inventory counts that are real-time and accurate. Additional rollout of RFID tagging in fashion categories is planned for 2015.
After a test run last year during the holiday season at Macy’s flagships in New York and San Francisco, Macy’s and shopkick, one of the most widely used real-world shopping apps, will expand the use of shopkick’s shopBeacon technology to all Macy’s stores nationwide.
In what will be the largest implementation of iBeacon technology at retail stores to date with more than 4,000 devices, shopBeacons, an enhanced mobile location-based technology built upon Apple’s iBeacon Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol, will be placed within various departments at Macy’s locations, allowing for users of the shopkick app to get more personalized department-level deals, discounts, recommendations and rewards.
Installation of shopBeacons is expected to be complete by early fall 2014, with activation beginning shortly thereafter. Once live, as shoppers enter any Macy’s nationwide, shopBeacon will remind those shopkick app users who’ve opted in to receive notifications to open their app. During the initial phase of the program, customers will receive the currently available Macy’s promotions, deals or discounts. In early spring 2015, these Macy’s offers can be even more precisely tailored by departments in the store.
This enhancement in Macy’s mobile technology arsenal will allow for increased consumer engagement and promotional and marketing relevancy that will benefit customers nationwide.
Smart Fitting Rooms
Bloomingdale’s has introduced smart fitting rooms in five store locations – Century City, San Francisco and Palo Alto, CA; Short Hills, NJ; and Garden City, NY. These fitting rooms have wall-mounted tablets where selling associates and customers are able to scan merchandise items to view other colors and sizes available and, in many cases, see additional product information, product ratings/reviews and recommendations on complementary items to “complete the look.”
Most importantly, customers are able to tap a button to call for assistance from a sales associate without even leaving the room. This can be a call for general assistance or a specific request for another color or size in items they like. The new Stanford Bloomingdale’s store in Palo Alto, CA, will be the first to have the new technology in ALL Women’s and Men’s Fitting Rooms.
Macy’s Digital Editions
With the launch of Macy’s Fall Fashion direct mail catalog, macys.com will take the pages of the physical book and transform them into a virtual diary of special content. Macy’s Digital Edition will leverage the functionality of the tablet experience to introduce customers to an enhanced catalog featuring exclusive editorial content, fashion advice, closer looks at the product and curated product suggestions.
Available at macys.com/digitaledition, customers will be able to interact with enhanced content from three of Macy’s Fall Fashion catalogs including the women’s ready-to-wear/accessories fashion book, the men’s fashion book and Macy’s Beauty Scene catalog. The virtual guides will offer consumers the interactive opportunity to learn about the season’s top trends, get 360 degree views of products, see fashion tip videos, and create new outfits using the Style Mixer feature that allows the user to mix and match pieces based on the initial look.
Macy’s Digital Edition will be a seamless, fun-to-use, interactive experience on tablet, desktop and mobile, that also allows customers to shop the styles directly from the virtual catalog.
Bloomingdale’s Tabletop Builder
Bloomingdales.com will launch an online Tabletop Builder on Oct. 1, blending the expertise of its sales professionals with technology that allows customers to mix and match dinnerware, flatware and glassware in table settings. This service enhances the Bloomingdale’s gift registry process on any device.
The Tabletop Builder features 203 dinnerware patterns, 66 glassware patterns and 68 flatware patterns that can be shared via email or saved for reference. Additionally, table setting advice will be provided for a variety of home entertaining situations.