Macy’s launches in-app VR and AR furniture experience
MANY of today’s modern businesses are using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (VR) to solve business problems and customer pain points.
Most recently, Macy’s, the popular US chain of department stores, announced that it had been piloting a VR-based furniture solution in its flagship store in New York City, and at Macy’s stores in Paramus, NJ, and Dadeland, FL.
The success of the VR solution’s pilot program has prompted the company to scale the solution and take it to another 60 locations across the country by fall of 2018, covering Macy’s largest furniture departments.
Using VR, they intend to help customers virtually design and experience the interior of a room for which they are purchasing furnishings.
Furniture is traditionally a high touch business, and the new VR in-store furniture design experience, powered by Marxent’s 3D Cloud and VR solution, is helping customers quit worrying as they test out potential purchases ‘virtually’.
— Robert Hétu (@Bob_Hetu) March 19, 2018
Jeff Gennette, Chairman and Chief Executive Office, Macy’s said:
Consumers today don’t just adopt technology, they absorb it at a tremendous pace, and they want it to be useful to their needs. Like a lot of brands, we’ve experimented with VR in a number of areas and we’re excited to have found a practical application that has proven to drive sales. In furniture, we are giving our customers a new tool that will allow them to virtually test out home furnishings, helping them make more informed decisions on these important purchases.
Macy’s 3D furniture experience allows customers to place furnishings in a virtual room they design using a tablet.
First they will map out the basic dimensions and shape of the room for which they are buying products.
Then they will select the items they want from Macy’s furniture assortment and lay them out virtually in the room.
Customers can refine the design as needed until they find what works best for them and finally test it out virtually by stepping into the room, using VR headsets to get a true-to-life experience that allows them to walk around the coffee table, couch, and other furnishings.
Additionally, an AR experience in furniture shopping, also powered by Marxent’s 3D Cloud, will be rolling out to the Macy’s app starting next month, allowing customers to virtually place Macy’s furniture products in their actual living spaces.
These enhancements are only the latest examples of Macy’s ongoing work to provide its customers with technology that enhances their shopping experiences.
“Implemented with the customer in mind and combined with a human touch, these initiatives allow Macy’s to create friction-free experiences in store and on the go,” said the company’s press release.
However, using VR and AR aren’t the only ways Macy’s expects to transform its customer experience. The band is also rolling out ‘mobile checkout’ on the company app to help customers breeze through the purchase cycle.
“As part of our test, iterate and scale model for innovation; we are excited to expand our launch of Mobile Checkout powered by the Macy’s app, providing our customers with the opportunity to self-serve and speed their transactions with us in-store,” said Gennette.
Macy’s Mobile Checkout is as simple as Scan. Pay. Go.
Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette shared upcoming efforts – scan, pay, go – self directed mobile checkout in store and VR for home furnishing design and shopping. #Shoptalk18 #shoptalk #retail @Macys pic.twitter.com/BAC32uzMx4
— MARIYA (@mariyazoro) March 19, 2018
First tested at the Macy’s Woodbridge, NJ, store and powered by the Macy’s app, available for iOS and Android devices, Mobile Checkout leverages the app’s in-store mode to power the self-service feature.
To use the service, customers will need to download the free Macy’s app and join Macy’s free Wi-Fi network.
As customers browse through the store, they can scan the items they wish to purchase using their phone’s camera and the app’s built-in scanner.
The app allows customers to apply relevant offers and rewards to eligible purchases. Once they are ready to checkout, they can pay via the app with their pre-registered credit card to complete the transaction.
From there, they will walk to the special Mobile Checkout counters set up in close proximity to store exits to have associates verify the purchase, remove security tags, and bag their items.
“The entire process is quick and easy,” claims the company in its press release.
Most merchandise in stores will be available for mobile checkout, with the exception of certain product categories as noted per store, such as leased departments or fine jewelry where the help of a sales associate will be needed to complete the purchase.