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Macy’s invests heavily in technology, offers apps and tablets to customers

September 26, 2014

Macy's, the 156 year-old U.S. retailer, is investing heavily in ecommerce technology.

Macy’s, the 156 year-old U.S. retailer, is investing heavily in ecommerce technology. Recently the company launched several new digital initiatives.

Over the next few months, Macy’s plans to add 4,000 iBeacon devices in stores across the country. The company will use the devices’ Bluetooth to send special offers to customer smartphones equipped with Shopkick – a popular shopping app – as they walk into stores.  President Kent Anderson believes that the technology will prove lucrative for Macy’s, reported the Washington Post.

“The customer who gets more engaged in more of the channels that Macy’s has to offer gives us more wallet share,” said Anderson, according to the news source.

Other retailers have tested iBeacon technology, such as American Eagle, Duane Reade and Lord & Taylor, but Macy’s seems to be all-in. The investment is part of a wider strategy to attract more millennial-generation shoppers.

Macy’s has also announced an Image Search app, which will allow customers to take pictures of items they are interested in and then find similar products at the store. The company intends to learn, based on customer behavior, what the appropriate volume and cadence of the alerts should be in the coming period. Macy’s is also hoping that consumers will find the app and alerts appealing enough that they may eventually share personal information.

“The ability to transmit to you information — a video about the quality of this product, the accessories that we have as part of our assortment that you may not see there — rich content that may, and should, help us close the sale, is where we potentially see the beacon technology going in our stores,” Anderson added. 

The customer helps shape the technology
Macy’s is also experimenting with “smart dressing rooms.” Customers will be able to use a wall-mounted tablet inside the dressing room to read reviews of items and view other sizes and colors of products, according to Forbes.com 

Ultimately, the company believes that customers influence innovation and guide the retailer in making changes to the shopping experience offered. Chief omnichannel officer at Macy’s, RB Harrison, sees the lines beginning to blur with regards to ecommerce and regular commerce – because that is what consumers want.

“She or he is increasingly expecting a seamless experience between a digital and in-store environment,” said Harrison, according to the news source.

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