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In its efforts to remain relevant and exciting to consumers, especially younger shoppers, Macy’s has adopted multiple in-store technologies that seek to help customers find the items they want, design fashionable outfits, pay more easily, receive discounts, and even have their purchases delivered if they so choose.

Article 4For example, with large, Look Book displays, consumers interact with a sort of digital catalog in the store, finding fashionable ideas, ways to extend their existing wardrobes, and images from forward-thinking fashion icons. Touching the screen enables them to check the availability of various colors and sizes, as well as receive more detailed information about items that are of interest.

The POP terminals in Macy’s stores similarly are touchscreens that provide extensive inventory information, though they are more functional than fashionable in their focus. The smaller kiosks indicate which colors and styles are available, as well as identifying which items have prompted the most Facebook likes or customer favorite rankings.

When it comes time to pay, Macy’s is working to make the process easier and quicker by installing Apple Pay capabilities throughout its network of stores. As one of the earliest adopters of this new technology, Macy’s is seeking to appeal to Apple fans who love to use their iPhones for nearly everything.

With Macy’s Wallet and the Shopkick app, customers have two methods to receive coupons and special offers. Once downloaded, the app requires people to opt in, and then, as they enter a Macy’s store, reminds them to open it so that they can receive personalized notifications. It tracks their movements through the store, so that a shopper in the outwear department receives a discount offer on gloves rather than cosmetics, for example. The Macy’s Wallet program is similar, except that it is unique to this retailer and links to consumers’ loyalty cards. A shopper who has earned a percentage off offer, on the basis of her or his prior purchases, thus no longer needs to worry about forgetting and leaving the paper coupon at home rather than bringing it on the current shopping trip.

Finally, using a crowdsourced delivery service called Deliv, Macy’s offers customers the option of making their purchases in the store, then having them delivered to their homes, such that they no longer have to lug heavy packages through the mall.

Some of these innovations have spread more widely than others. For example, Apple Pay will soon be available in all Macy’s stores, but Deliv provides deliver service in just eight major markets.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What technologies is Macy’s using to enhance its customers’ experience?
  2. Which of these technologies would you be most likely to use? Which would you be least likely to use? Why?


Source: Alexander Coolidge, Cincinnati Inquirer, October 3, 2014