Macy's Tests New Tech to Drive Growth
CINCINNATI-Macy's, Inc. is launching several technology-related innovations in its stores and online sites as part of its strategy to drive sales growth at Macy's and Bloomingdale's. These innovations are designed to engage customers and "to make their shopping experience more convenient, fun and interesting," the company said in a statement.
"As we build our culture of growth at Macy's, Inc., it is important that we develop and test new ideas so we can learn and continue to improve. We are committed to leading in the adoption of technology that resonates with our customers, recognizing that not every idea will prove to be successful in the long-term," said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO. He said Macy's is using technology in its stores to mirror the online shopping experience, and adding functionality and content online to provide customers with additional assistance in product selection. The ultimate goal of the omnichannel strategy, Lundgren said, "is to build deeper relationships with customers and to ensure Macy's and Bloomingdale's are accessible no matter how or when our customers prefer to explore or shop."
Some of the tests and rollouts include the expansion of Macy's nationwide Search & Send initiative. Initially with Search & Send, every Macy's store register was enabled to find products that are out of stock or unavailable in that particular location by accessing the macys.com online inventory. Search & Send now has been expanded to also include fulfillment from 23 selected Macy's stores across the country. In 2012, more than 100 Macy's stores with broad merchandise assortments will be part of the Search & Send fulfillment network. The company also is testing the use of Macy's store fulfillment for selected items purchased online.
At the end of October, all Macy's and Bloomingdale's furniture/mattress delivery associates will be equipped with computer tablets to plan daily routes, find locations via GPS, record delivery
verification signatures, and access product and sales transaction information on-site to answer customer questions.
Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores have also begun to replace signature pads at all 50,000 point-of-sale terminals with new customer response units, will begin experimenting with digital receipts in 50 selected stores, have begun installing free Wi-Fi services in stores nationwide to enable customer use of smartphone applications and/or tablet technology for shopping, and have added live chats to their online shopping sites.