Macy’s to deploy visual recognition technology from NantMobile
New York — Macy’s shoppers will be able to see it, scan it, shop it this holiday season with the chain’s upcoming integration of NantMobile’s iD visual recognition technology. The new Macy’s Star Gifts app, powered by iD, empowers mobile shoppers to leverage visual recognition technology to purchase items from Macy’s Star Gifts assortment while on the go. Whether they scan it from a catalog, magazine ad or even from an outdoor billboard, Macy’s will deliver mobile access to product information, gift-giving assistance and much more.
“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, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “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.”
Augmenting its already robust mobile initiatives, Macy’s Star Gifts app, available for free on iTunes and Google Play, will be used to deliver content that will help inspire, entertain and assist in the creation and fine-tuning of holiday gift lists.
Consumers who download the Macy’s Star Gifts app will have their first opportunity to engage with the added virtual content with the launch of the Macy’s Star Gifts catalog in early November. With the app open, shoppers will just need to point their device at any page in the catalog featuring a Star Gift and tap the screen to see the enhanced information.
For a limited time, through Nov. 17, shoppers can also scan the first page of the Star Gifts catalog to receive a $10 Macy’s mobile Gift Code* to kick start their holiday gift shopping.
Throughout the holiday season, visual recognition technology will be available on Macy’s gift advertising found in public spaces such as subway stations, digital billboards, bus shelters, windowscapes and magazines, and additional catalogs. This marks a first-of-its kind use of iD’s visual recognition technology to deliver a seamless experience across national catalogs, print and outdoor advertising.
The addition of iD technology adds another layer to Macy’s existing mobile strategies including its stand-alone app, mobile-enhanced online store at Macys.com, as well as numerous mobile rewards and advertising partnerships.
Tilly’s Finds Hosted Search Satisfaction
One of the biggest benefits omni-channel retailers can offer consumers is ease of finding products. But without a fast, accurate and intuitive site search capability, this benefit quickly becomes theoretical rather than an actual competitive differentiator.
For Irivne, Calif.-based specialty sportswear retailer Tilly’s, which operates 188 stores in 32 states as well as a robust e-commerce site, a legacy site search engine reached the point it was mostly delivering theoretical benefits by mid-2012. Tilly’s discovered the in-house-developed search engine’s shortcomings during an update of its Microsoft .NET enterprise framework.
Feeling the Pain
“Our search became very painful once we were done updating the .NET platform,” recalled Chris Brown, senior e-commerce manager, merchandise and product development of Tilly’s. “After researching search solutions we settled on Oracle Endeca, but the price was higher than we wanted to pay for an in-house solution.”
Among the search features Tilly’s desired were relevant results, consistent and useful navigation, and proven tools for merchandising and product promotion. Ultimately seeking higher search conversion rates and lower bounce rates, Tilly’s determined it preferred Oracle Endeca around the beginning of 2013, and then began investigating different means of making an Endeca deployment affordable. The retailer discovered that by partnering with Chicago-based integrated site search solution provider Thanx Media to provide Endec on a hosted basis, it could obtain the benefits of Endeca and stay within its IT budget.
Bridging the Gap
“Thanx Media’s hosting solution bridged the gap,” said Brown. “We set up feeds to send them our product information and met internally weekly to discuss the pipeline we were setting up.”
Tilly’s began implementing the Thanx Media-hosted version of Endeca in March 2013 and went live in June 2013. Thanx Media captures Tilly’s product data via Web feed and serves it back to them within search results through Endeca.
Reaping the Rewards
“We have higher search volumes,” stated Brown. “They continue to increase as people become more familiar with our new search feature.”
In addition, Brown said conversion rates have risen and bounce rates have fallen since the hosted Endeca implementation. Tilly’s uses the Endeca Experience Manager tool to deliver product images to customers via search. The company also intends to update the search bar currently offered on its site, among other future search plans.
“We are continually adding search attributes and more filter options,” said Brown.
JetPay Payment Services bolsters risk management leadership
JetPay Payment Services has appointed Jeffry A. Beene as the company’s SVP for risk management. Beene has more than 20 years of experience within the merchant acquiring industry.
JetPay Payment Services is an end-to-end payments processing provider. Along with its sister company, JetPay Payroll Services, the company now offers a complete line of vertically integrated financial services to businesses across the country, including payment processing, payroll and tax filing, human resource management and prepaid card services.
“Jeff comes to us with a world of experience in the payments industry,” said Trent Voigt, president and CEO of JetPay Payment Services. “He is well known as a visionary and results-oriented risk and operations executive. Jeff has notable strengths at managing systematic investigations, implementation of ‘back office’ systems, loss prevention, and compliance. He smoothly integrates these talents with insuring customer satisfaction, and optimizing workflow and relationship building with other key executives of the company. We are very happy to be able to benefit from his talents.”
Prior to JetPay Payment Services, Beene spent almost nine years in executive positions, including chief compliance officer and EVP at NetSecure Payments, EVP of operations at FrontStream Payments and president and chief compliance officer at Pipeline Data Processing. Prior to these positions, he was the VP of security and compliance for Genpass Technologies Inc. and director of security at Gensar Technologies, both companies headed by JetPay Corporation’s chairman, Bipin C. Shah.
Beene is one of the founding members of the Merchant Acquirer Committee (MAC) which provides universal risk management services through ongoing communication and cooperation among acquirers and card associations. He is actively involved with the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) served on the ETA’s risk and fraud management committee as its vice chairman, and also served on government relations, industry relations and new member committees. Beene was also active as an executive advisory board member for the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI). He helped to establish the Federal Trade Commission’s Internet Investigation Training for Credit Card Industry Members program and has served on Visa USA and MasterCard International’s fraud reduction committee and counterfeit reduction committee.