Macy’s is unveiling two major features designed to transform and innovate the store experience, CEO Jeff Gennette said during a keynote at ShopTalk 2018. During the session, Gennette announced that Macy’s will bring VR furniture-selling tools to 60 stores by this fall and will debut mobile checkout in all stores by the end of 2018.
The VR tools will allow customers to create a virtual replication of their home or specific room via their tablet, and then drag and drop various products into the 2D space. Using a headset, customers can then jump into that model and see what a couch might look like in their living room in 3D.
Retailers such as Lowe’s and IKEA have offered VR experiences for their consumers within stores, but neither have brought the technology to the vast store footprint that Macy’s has plans for. The company has already piloted the technology in three locations in New Jersey, New York City and Florida. Although Macy’s has a 50-store rollout in the short term, Gennette plans to offer the VR tool down the line in as many stores as possible.
“By putting the VR experience in our stores as a sales aid, we can offer a full range of furniture in a dramatically smaller space,” said Gennette, adding that the experience needs “about half the space” Macy’s previously used for furniture. With that in mind, VR will enable Macy’s to offer furniture departments in locations that didn’t have them before.
The Macy’s in-store VR experiences — as well as an augmented reality experience set to roll out in April 2018 — are powered by the Marxent 3D Cloud and VR solution. With the app, customers can virtually place Macy’s furniture products in their actual living spaces.
Macy’s Tests New Mobile Checkout Feature
Macy’s also is seeking to catch up with industry leaders through frictionless checkout via its mobile “Scan. Pay. Go.” feature. The feature is included in the Macy’s mobile app, and is similar to rollouts presently taking place at Krogerand Walmart. When shoppers browse in-store, they can scan the items they wish to purchase using their phone’s camera and the app’s built-in scanner. The app will allow customers to apply relevant offers and rewards to eligible purchases.
Once shoppers are ready for checkout, they can pay on the app with a pre-registered credit card to complete the transaction. From there, they will walk to designated mobile checkout counters set up near store exits to have associates verify the purchase, remove security tags and bag their items.
Macy’s is currently testing the mobile checkout option at its Woodbridge, N.J. store.
The company’s Bloomingdale’s division also will begin testing the mobile checkout feature later this month at its SoHo location in New York City, ahead of future implementation across its namesake stores.
During the Shoptalk session, Gennette also said that Macy’s plans to double its online assortment by the end of the year, and plans to open 100 more off-price Backstage stores during that time.