- Macy's expand an augmented reality (AR) feature to all mobile app users, per an announcement. Working with AR beauty company Modiface, the Macy's app this spring will let mobile users virtually try on more than 1,000 cosmetics products among major brands. The experience will also be available to customers at select locations nationwide later this spring via in-store beauty displays.
- The expansion follows a successful test with a small number of users in the fall of 2018 that let users virtually trial a variety of lip products. Once available, shoppers will be able to test single products or entire looks and share the looks on social media or with friends.
- At the Shoptalk conference this week in Las Vegas, Jill Ramsey, chief digital officer at Macy's, discussed a number of ways the retailer is working on enhancing its mobile app, including enabling buy-online-pickup-in-store in its mobile wallet and adding ways for shoppers to connect with in-store stylists, locate products and find local events, per Adweek.
Macy's updates to its mobile app are geared to appeal to shoppers when they're on the go or visiting its department stores. At the Shoptalk conference this week in Las Vegas, Jill Ramsey, chief digital officer at Macy's, said two-thirds of online traffic and half of digital sales come from mobile devices, making its app users its "most loyal customer," per Adweek.
AR try-on tools, which also will be available as in-store beauty displays in select stores, have become a popular way for cosmetics brands to market products to mobile customers. Macy's obviously prefers that those customers shop from its app and stores rather than a rival like Sephora or Ulta Beauty, and getting in on AR try-ons could help land sales. E-commerce has become critical for traditional retailers like Macy's.
Macy's also announced a partnership with Perch to help shoppers find the perfect fragrance with a digitally-driven experience in stores. The deployment resulted from the retailer's observation that online shoppers tend to seek out perfumes by scent family, filtering through its assortment from notes such as floral or citrus. In-store shoppers, on the other hand, tend to look for fragrance brands when making a purchase. The interactive displays may help its stores boost sales among customers who are undecided about a fragrance brand, and don't want to sample dozens of scents as they shop.
Macy's investments in technology are part of its effort to upgrade a group of stores it calls "magnets" that also have updated lighting and fixtures and fresh merchandise assortments. The company plans to widen the remodeling efforts to another 100 magnet stores this year, up from 50 last year, per The Wall Street Journal. Macy's last week said 2019 would be challenging amid flat sales and efforts to cut costs by eliminating jobs.