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Macy’s adds in-store mode to app, solidifying hyperlocal strategy

In a significant enhancement to Macy’s smartphone application, it now boasts an in-store mode, creating a destination for on-premise shoppers and playing catch up with retailers such as Walmart.

Over the years, Macy’s has tested a number of different strategies involving the use of its app by in-store shoppers, including QR codes, augmented reality and beacons. With the latest update to its app, users can now access an in-store dashboard where they take advantage of relevant tools, including scanning for prices and real-time alerts for new offers.

“At Macy’s, we truly see our App as a customer’s in-store shopping companion,” said Serena Potter, group vice president of digital media strategy at Macy’s. “We’ve built-in a lot of great features over the years to help enhance our customer’s shopping experience.

“From scanning a product to understand the latest price to product reviews, offers, store availability and more,” she said. “With In Store Mode, we are able to further highlight these features, customized to the particular store they are visiting.

“In addition, the latest version of the App provides enhancements to how offers in a user’s Wallet are presented, along with their Plenti points balance, creating a more personalized experience for the consumer.”

Personalized in-store savings
If customers are in or near a story, in-store mode will automatically load when the app is launched.

Users can also launch it from the in-store mode banner at the top of the page. Additionally, at any point in time, a customer can access in store mode via the navigation menu under Stores by tapping “In Store Mode. ”

With the update, scanning has been made more prominent.

“We know this is an important in-store feature our customers love and we made it even more accessible in this latest release,” Ms. Potter said.

Additionally, users will see personalized, in-store savings pulled from the offers saves in their online wallet and displayed on the main screen of the in-store app experience.

Users will also see their Plenti Points balance prominently displayed so they know what is available to redeem before checking out.

The app update also adds the Macy’s store catalog so users can view it while on the go.

“It’s great that Macy’s is offering in-store mode, especially given the large footprint of their store,” said Maya Mikhailov, chief marketing officer at GPShopper. “With in-store mode, they’re able to leverage their physical space for marketing, but also to make shopping more efficient.

“The reality is shoppers have made it known that they value convenience over most things,” she said. “By making their stores more convenient and easy to shop in, it’s an important step forward in revitalizing their in-store retail strategy.”

Early advantage
Macy’s was an early leader in leveraging mobile inside its stores as one of shopkick’s first partners.

In 2010, Target, Best Buy and Macy’s were among the retailers that participated in shopkick’s The 12 Days of Kickmas campaign, which rewarded mobile shoppers for simply visiting their stores.

In 2014, Macy’s was one of the first retailers to embrace iBeacons through its partnership with shopkick.

The retailer also introduced a browser-based digital wallet solution called My Wallet, which is available to in-store shoppers.

The retailer has also leveraged visual search, augmented reality and QR codes in stores.

However, big retailers such as Walmart have taken the lead when it comes to providing a dedicated app tab for in-store activity.

“They’ve shown a willingness to experiment in the past, such as trying out mobile bar code price scanners in store, QR codes, and even testing out early beacon technology,” Ms. Mikhailov said. “All of this is forward thinking, but experimentation hasn’t lead to a hardened strategy as quickly as some of their competitors.

“For example, offering in-store mode is a great step for their business but it’s nothing new,” she said. “Walmart premiered in-store mode over two years ago, so in a way they’re playing catch up.”