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Macy’s rolling out mobile checkout to all stores; to expand VR pilot

Macy’s is expanding its mobile app functionality in a big way as it doubles down on its use of technology.

The department store retailer will launch mobile checkout to all full-line stores by the end of this year. The technology was first tested at Macy’s Woodbridge, New Jersey location. Macy’s Bloomingdale’s division will begin testing the feature later this month at its SoHo location in New York City, in advance of a large-scale implementation across its stores.

“As part of our test, iterate and scale model for innovation; we are excited to expand our launch of mobile checkout, providing our customers with the opportunity to self-serve and speed their transactions with us in-store,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chairman and CEO.

Here’s how Macy’s mobile checkout works: After downloading the app and joining Macy’s free Wi-Fi network, customers can use the app to browse the assortment, and use their phone’s camera and the app’s built-in scanner to scan items they want to purchase. Customers can also apply relevant offers and rewards to eligible purchases.

Once they are ready to checkout, customers can pay through the app with a pre-registered credit card. Before leaving the store, customers visit a dedicated mobile checkout counter where associates verify the purchase, remove security tags, and bag their items. Items that are not eligible for mobile checkout include those in leased departments, or fine jewelry where a sales associate is needed to complete the purchase, according to Macy’s.

In addition, Macy’s will expand a virtual reality furniture pilot to an additional 60 locations. The technology, which is powered by Marxent’s 3D Cloud and VR solution, enables customers to virtually furnish a room using a a significant portion of merchandise across Macy’s largest furniture departments.

The VR pilot was launched among app users in Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square in New York City, as well as its stores in Paramus, New Jersey and Dadeland, Florida.

The VR expansion, which will be completed by fall 2018, is a means of giving customers a way to virtually test out home furnishings, and make more informed decisions, Gennette said.

“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,” said Gennette.

Additionally, an augmented reality experience in furniture shopping, also powered by Marxent's 3D Cloud, will be rolling out to the Macy’s app in April. It allows customers to virtually place Macy’s furniture products in their actual living spaces.
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