- Joining other retailers in enhancing their digital presence, Macy's is updating its mobile app with a new design and navigation, the retailer announced on Wednesday. The new app will be available for iOS and Android devices on Oct. 15.
- The app allows shoppers to curate their personal style, browse Macy's selection and create lists of their favorite products. The retailer also improved product filters, personalized recommendations and streamlined the returns process. For in-store shoppers, Macy's has added price checks, store maps as well as product availability notifications, BOPIS and curbside pickup functions to the app.
- The retailer is also launching a weekly livestreaming shopping experience, Macy's Live.
In addition to updating its mobile app, Macy's is also experimenting with live shopping. The department store is hosting Macy's Live, a weekly live shopping event where customers can chat with Macy's stylists and hosts, see product reviews and recommendations in real-time and get a closer look at featured items. After the live show, shoppers can view archived shows and shop on-demand, the company said.
Taking a page from livestream commerce veterans like QVC and HSN, retailers are betting on livestream shopping via digital platforms to attract consumers. The livestream market has already taken off in China, and a report from Coresight Research suggests that it could reach $25 billion by 2023 in the U.S.
Nordstrom made a similar move earlier this year when it introduced its shoppable livestream platform. As part of Nordstrom's livestream event series, the department store featured skincare, fashion and beauty experts and brand representatives to demonstrate useful tips and advice for viewers.
But as Macy's spruces up its digital offerings and focuses on its online sales, some wonder whether it should spin off its e-commerce business entirely. In its Q2 earnings report, the retailer saw a 6% dip in digital sales compared to last year but a 45% increase compared to Q2 2019. Activist investor Scott Ostfeld, partner and co-portfolio manager of Jana Strategic Investments, reportedly said Macy's could follow in the footsteps of Saks Fifth Avenue and separate its e-commerce business from its physical stores to increase its stock price. Macy's e-commerce operation could be worth $14 billion, compared to its current $6.9 billion valuation, Reuters reported Ostfeld saying.