Macy’s: In the Omnichannel Groove
Here’s how omnichannel is supposed to work:
I live in the Northeast, in an area recently experiencing record cold temperatures and quite a bit of snow fall. It’s not quite the North Pole, but right about now a sleigh is probably the most reliable source of transportation. As snow and freezing rain came down last Wednesday, I remembered that my 13-year-old daughter had a semi-formal event to attend on Sunday and nothing in her closet was close to fitting her, or even appropriate for the occasion. Little black leggings are versatile, but they were just not going to do for this.
I contemplated going out to the mall, roughly 20 minutes away, but quickly opted for the warm coziness of my kitchen in front of my computer instead. I began my quest on Amazon, but was quickly overwhelmed by the selection and had difficulty narrowing my search. Young teenaged girls may be as tall as 20, 30 or 60-year-old women — all of whom wear dresses — but their tastes are vastly different. Getting the Amazon search engine to target that mindset was proving difficult. And then I started to worry that, despite being a Prime customer, I might not get my package in time, because of all the bad weather across the country. (We in the Northeast like to think we have a monopoly on nasty snowy weather, but this year has especially proved that’s not at all the case.)
The mall was starting to look more attractive, but the weather wasn’t, so I stayed put. I started going through my emails and saw I had a coupon code from Macy’s. I’m a loyal Macy’s shopper, and there’s one at my local mall. Now I had a plan.
Macy’s has a very easy to navigate site. I could easily find the Juniors department and even find daytime event dresses quickly. I found and bought the just-right dress in about 10 minutes. And, no worries about shipping, I was all set to pick up my merchandise at the store any day during the week. Whenever we stopped “having weather,” I could collect my purchase. I signed up for text alerts on my order status, and, in fact, my order was ready for me within a couple of hours.
Picking up the dress the next day was simple; one of the three texts I received told me exactly where to go, and my package was waiting for me. I produced my ID and off I went — but not out the door. Rather, I went to the shoe department for some coordinating footwear. I spent an additional 70% on accessory sales, and that is just exactly the way the omnichannel is supposed to work.
Macy’s does a very good job integrating its online with the in-store experience. And that is starting to show in its financial results. Its digital efforts helped fourth-quarter sales increase to $9.364 billion, up 1.8% from the prior year. Among its stronger areas were dresses and men’s and women’s shoes, areas where Macy’s tested a single view of inventory between stores and direct-to-customer warehouses. During Macy's earnings call last week, CFO Karen Hoguet said the company had just rolled out those same programs companywide based on those successes.
“Our digital channels at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s did extremely well in the quarter. We were very focused and pleased with what we accomplished with Buy-Online, Pick Up In Store,” Hoguet said. “Both because of the new wave of customers who utilize this shopping, but also for the radiated sales we got when the orders were picked up. And our same-day delivery test was successful and we will expand in 2015 to additional markets.” “Radiated sales”? I guess I participated in that. It does sound awfully nice and warm to this Northeasterner.
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