Macy’s has announced that its new Macy’s Star Gifts mobile app will soon be integrating with NantMobile’s iD visual recognition technology, in order to enhance the customer’s shopping experience by providing product information, videos and gift-giving ideas, with a simple scan.
“Visual recognition technology is the next evolution of our mobile strategy, leveraging Macy’s omnichannel capabilities to be everywhere our customers are in order to enhance their shopping experiences on the go,” said Martine Reardon, CMO of Macy’s, in a press statement. “This new application of technology will assist us in delivering helpful and relevant content to mobile shoppers while at the same time providing them with the opportunity to get their holiday shopping done with ease.”
The visual recognition technology will enhance customer engagement with the Macy’s Star Gifts app by allowing customers to control when and where they receive information about a product. Whether it’s a photo from a catalog or an ad found on the subway, customers will be able to scan the graphics using their mobile devices for further information.
This implementation may be a foreshadowing of the role mobile will play in the future of retail marketing. In a discussion on the RetailWire site, Tom Redd, VP of Strategic Communications for the SAP Global Retail Business Unit, stated that the integration of mobile interaction and Big Data is major step forward for the retail industry.
“This integration will help retailers to personalize the shopper experience across all channels — especially mobile — to a level that involves looking at the shopper and the social sentiment around the item(s) the shopper desires, and at the same time knowing their inventory positions,” Redd noted. “Mobile can no longer live alone; it is time for it to go much deeper into the retail engines, and Macy’s is pushing for this.”
However, according to Max Goldberg, President of Max Goldberg & Associates, limiting visual recognition technology to a catalog and other company promotions could limit the consumer’s control of for the shopping process.
“Retailers need to develop apps that make shopping easier and puts the needs of consumers first, not the other way around,” Goldberg said. “By helping consumers find what they are looking for, saving time and offering value, retailers can use mobile technology to drive sales and profits.”
The app currently is available for free on iTunes and Google Play.