In today’s world of retail, commerce is truly a conversation between customer and company, and new virtual and augmented reality experiences enable us to create customized experiences to fit our consumers’ needs. Macy’s is improving the customer journey, making brick-and-mortar stores more immersive and experiential. Recognizing this evolution, Recode invited Macy’s to join a select group of companies hosting “on-location experiences” – an opportunity for participants to engage firsthand with the retail technology in our stores.
On the opening day of Code Commerce, Macy’s, Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette spoke onstage with CNBC Retail Reporter Courtney Reagan. During the interview, he discussed a wide range of topics, including changes in Macy’s store formats, integration of advanced technologies in stores, and what he thinks the department store of the future looks like.
Following the interview, Macy’s President Hal Lawton hosted the event in the Home Section of Herald Square’s 9th floor, sharing both our strategic vision and new technologies.
Early in the event, under the sign, “Virtual Reality (VR): See the Space IRL (In Real Life),” Lawton showcased Macy’s VR Furniture Experience, an in-store technology which allows customers to virtually see Macy’s furniture product they’re considering for their own homes. This service is also accessible via the iPhone 7 and above, through Macy’s Augmented Reality (AR) phone app, “Visualize Your Space.”
“Technology, and how we integrate it across all aspects of the customer journey, is a significant driver of our growth strategy. Macy’s is truly an omnichannel business. We are committed to leveraging technology across our entire enterprise, to better deliver exceptional customer experiences across our digital channels and physical locations,” said Lawton.
Lawton also shared how innovations in mobile checkout and RFID make the customer’s shopping journey not only more personal, but more efficient. “Technology implemented with the human touch powers all of our initiatives, from mobile in-store checkout and personalized home pages to the warehouse logistics that allow us to quickly fulfill and deliver products to our customers across the nation,” said Lawton.
The visit to Herald Square also featured the future of beauty, with Nata Dvir, executive vice president and general business manager of Beauty. Dvir showcased the AR Beauty Kiosk, a virtual mirror that gives beauty lovers the opportunity to try on products, without the need for traditional makeup trials. There is also a mobile app version currently in beta testing with plans to expand in the future.
The event ended at The Market @ Macy’s, a space designed to help both emerging and established brands reach new audiences. Marc Mastronardi, executive vice president, Macy’s Business Development Innovation, shared the exciting news that The Market @ Macy’s will be partnering with Facebook to bring in nearly 150 e-commerce brands this holiday season.
The world of retail is becoming one of “conversational commerce” and Macy’s is paving the way with new technology that combines the human touch to deliver our customers the best experience possible. Our stores continue to be venues for collaboration and experiences as we drive innovations in AR, VR, mobile checkout, and more.
Learn even more about combining VR with the human touch in the latest Beyond the Boardroom episode. You can also read more about this and other store technology experiences in a recent press release or step into the Code Commerce event and some of Macy’s in-store technology experiences in this video.