Macy’s adding more in-store technology, partnering with Facebook

Macy’s is making some bold moves in its stores in time for the holiday shopping season.

The department store giant announced it is adding enhanced in-store technologies to make its customers shopping journeys “more convenient, efficient and fun.” The new features include both virtual reality and augmented reality furniture and beauty experiences that will enable customers to discover product and make more informed buying decisions.

The retailer also said it is partnering with Facebook to bring in nearly 150 online brands to its pop-up concept, The Market @ Macy’s, across nine stores this holiday. The market concept features a rotating selection of varied offerings in apparel, accessories, beauty, entertainment, experiences, decorative home, stationery, technology and gifts.

Macy’s said it expected to have completed the launch of “VR for Furniture” in 69 Macy’s stores by early November. In the pilot stores, VR-influenced furniture sales have increased the overall basket size by more than 60% versus non-VR furniture sales, as customers more accurately visualize their space and add multiple furnishings with confidence.

For customers who used the VR installation it has also decreased returns to less than 2% of total transactions. The technology also allows Macy’s to offer access to a larger furniture assortment in less space on the floor both at large and small store locations.

Macy’s has also launched a Macy’s app for iOS devices that features an augmented reality furniture experience called “visualize your space.” It allows customers to virtually place Macy’s furniture products in their actual living spaces, allowing them to test the product in real world settings against their existing furnishings.

In addition, Macy’s has made technological enhancements behind the scenes to enhance the customer experience. In beauty, the company is deploying a “beauty playground” tool that its beauty advisors can use to learn more about the company’s product assortment, seek additional training resources and also discover the latest beauty trends. The technology showcases tutorial videos and information from brand partners and popular influencers.

“Our technology enhancements are practical applications that will engage our customers while also driving sales,” said Hal Lawton, president of Macy’s. “The investments we are making behind the scenes will enable our colleagues to give our customers the best shopping experience possible. We’re also thrilled to be partnering with Facebook to bring new brands into our retail as a service concept, The Market @ Macy’s.”