CINCINNATI-- Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE: M) today announced that the company is highlighting advanced technology to enhance the omnichannel customer experience. Across the enterprise, new features are being introduced to make the Macy’s customer journey more convenient, efficient and fun. The features include both virtual reality and augmented reality furniture and beauty experiences that enable customers to discover product and make more informed buying decisions. The company has also made technological enhancements to several non-customer facing features, including the Beauty Playground training program and RFID that will enable colleagues to offer customers a better in-store shopping experience.
“Macy’s is focused on providing customers with fresh experiences, and we are always looking for new ways to engage our customers in store, online and via our mobile app”
The company also announced today that it will be partnering with Facebook, which will bring in nearly 150 e-commerce brands to The Market @ Macy’s across nine stores this holiday season. The Market @ Macy’s, a one-of-a-kind approach to retail provided as a service, helps both emerging and established brands reach new audiences in a physical space with turn-key entry into some of Macy’s most highly trafficked stores. Each Market brings a rotating selection of unique offerings in apparel, accessories, beauty, entertainment, experiences, decorative home, stationery, technology and gifts. Mobile and platforms like Facebook have opened the door for emerging brands to connect with shoppers digitally, and now The Market @ Macy’s partnership with Facebook will provide participating small businesses and e-commerce brands the unique experience of a Macy’s store environment during the holidays – the busiest shopping season of the year.
“Macy’s is focused on providing customers with fresh experiences, and we are always looking for new ways to engage our customers in store, online and via our mobile app,” said Hal Lawton, president of Macy’s. “Our technology enhancements are practical applications that will engage our customers while also driving sales. The investments we are making behind the scenes will enable our colleagues to give our customers the best shopping experience possible. We’re also thrilled to be partnering with Facebook to bring new brands into our retail as a service concept, The Market @ Macy’s.”
“All over the world people are running businesses, big and small, that have inspiring stories and we want to help them succeed. We are thrilled to be partnering with one of the world’s biggest retailers to bring some of those businesses to a physical store this holiday season. Macy’s shoppers will have the chance to meet businesses such as Love Your Melon that sells hats and apparel to help in the fight against pediatric cancer, or Charleston Gourmet Burger Company that started from a backyard barbecue and has expanded to reach customers in all 50 states. There is nothing small about small business and Macy's is helping to celebrate their stories,” said Michelle Klein, Director of North America Marketing, Facebook.
Macy’s will be highlighting the following technology at the Code Commerce On-Location Event in New York City.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Furniture Shopping
As previously announced, Macy’s has developed virtual and augmented reality furniture shopping experiences in partnership with Marxent. By early November the company expects to have successfully completed the launch of VR for Furniture in 69 Macy’s stores across the country. A full list of the stores is available at the end of this release.
In the pilot stores, VR-influenced furniture sales have increased the overall basket size by more than 60 percent versus non-VR furniture sales, as customers more accurately visualize their space and add multiple furnishings with confidence. For customers who used the VR installation it has also decreased returns to less than 2 percent of total transactions. The technology also allows Macy’s to offer access to a larger furniture assortment in less space on the floor both at large and small store locations.
Another exciting addition available now on the Macy’s app for iOS devices is an augmented reality furniture experience called “Visualize Your Space.” The complimentary technology allows customers to virtually place Macy’s furniture products in their actual living spaces, allowing them to test the product in real world settings against their existing furnishings. Visualize Your Space is now available on the Macy’s mobile app for iOS on the iPhone 7 and newer, and will be available on the Macy’s app for Android in 2019.
Augmented Reality for Beauty
Macy’s in-store virtual mirror technology digitally showcases more than 250 trend beauty products on an in-store kiosk for instant makeup try-ons. Customers have the opportunity to test a variety of beauty products in minutes, without the need for the traditional makeup trials. Customers can look into the camera on the kiosk to ‘try on’ a variety of different makeup from eye shadow to lipstick in a host of shades, until she finds the right one. These virtual mirrors are currently available at approximately 50 stores nationwide.
Macy’s is also testing a similar beauty feature on its mobile app. The Virtual Makeover feature allows customers to virtually try on featured lip products. The technology is easy to use and customers have the ability to share their virtual makeup pictures with friends and family for feedback. The AR Beauty initiative for the Macy’s app is currently being tested with a select number of Macy’s iOS users with future plans to expand AR functionality in 2019.
Macy’s is also leveraging technology behind the scenes that will enable customers to have an exceptional experience.
In beauty, the company is employing the “Beauty Playground” to provide beauty advisors with enhanced training. The Beauty Playground is a tool that Macy’s beauty advisors use to learn more about Macy’s product assortment, seek additional training resources and also discover the latest beauty trends. The technology showcases tutorial videos and information from brand partners and popular influencers, as well as the tools to explore new techniques on their own.
Macy’s continues to be an industry leader in radio-frequency identification. RFID is a foundational technology driving store processes and is a critical component in the evolution to provide simplified tools for Macy’s colleagues. RFID unlocks the digital potential in core business systems including inventory planning, product availability and financial operations. Combined with other technologies, RFID is a critical data source and improves the in-store experience for customers and colleagues. The ongoing adoption across the enterprise of RFID has allowed the company to better fulfill out of stock merchandise, increasing product availability and maximizing sales potential. It has also had a meaningful impact on the fast and accurate replenishment of goods on the selling floor via periodic scans to determine what merchandise needs to be replenished from stock areas. This has been most widely successful in high turnover, limited display merchandise such as handbags, luggage and men’s furnishings. The company is now testing hands free RFID data capture capabilities including robotics, fixed infrastructure and other mobile device solutions to further enhance the data collection that will have a broad impact on the replenishment, ordering and quick availability of product for customers.
Macy’s, Inc. is one of the nation’s premier retailers. With fiscal 2017 sales of $24.837 billion and approximately 130,000 employees, the company operates approximately 690 department stores under the nameplates Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, and more than 170 specialty stores that include Bloomingdale’s The Outlet, Bluemercury, Macy’s Backstage and STORY. Macy’s, Inc. operates stores in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, as well as macys.com, bloomingdales.com and bluemercury.com. Bloomingdale’s stores in Dubai and Kuwait are operated by Al Tayer Group LLC under license agreements. Macy’s, Inc. has corporate offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, and New York, New York.
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