Macy's Inc. has revealed its updated – and robust -- ominchannel strategy designed “make shopping more convenient and fun,” said Terry Lundgren, Macy's chairman and CEO.
The strategy includes several initiatives that touch in-store, online and mobile shopping experiences and include mobile payment, same-store delivery, an online tool for mixing-and matching tabletop and beacons.
“Our goal remains to help our customers shop whenever, wherever and however they prefer, and to use the entire inventory of the company to satisfy demand," said Lundgren. "We are a multi-faceted retailer with stores, technology, Internet capability and mobile access that come together for our customers. They are at the center of all our decisions, and our ongoing research and development will continue to help us understand how to personally engage with them."
The Cincinnati-based department store’s Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s banners have signed on to help launch Apple Pay, Apple’s new mobile payment system that will be available beginning this fall on new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mobile devices, as well as on new Apple Watch.
This fall, both Macy's and Bloomingdale's will begin piloting same-day delivery of products purchased online 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.
Same day deliveries to customers will be powered by Deliv in collaboration with major mall owners. (Earlier this year, Williams-Sonoma announced its partnership with the crowdsourced same day delivery provider. For over a year, Macy's and Bloomingdale's customers have been able to buy online and pickup in store.
The Technology of Selling
Macy's is testing a variety of selling technologies as select stores, including 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 up 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 personal service such as styling advice and products that meet their needs. 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.
Both banners have launched revamped mobile shopping apps and mobile wallets for iOS and Android.
Macy's Image Search: The company has begun deploying new technology concepts created in its San Francisco-based Idea Lab at macys.com. Among them is Macy's Image Search, a 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. 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.
Better Shopping with Beacons
After a test at Macy's flagships in New York and San Francisco, Macy's and shopkick, a popular shopping app, will expand the use of shopkick's shopBeacon technology to all Macy's stores nationwide. In what will be the largest implementation of iBeaconTM 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.
Setting the Virtual Table
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.