In an effort to make checkout easier for customers, Macy’s plans to roll out mobile checkout in its brick-and-mortar stores. The technology, which is powered by the retailer’s mobile app, is expected to be deployed to all of Macy’s full-line stores by the end of the year, CNBC reported.
Through the app, shoppers can scan an item’s barcode as they add it to their carts. As they do so, the app will apply discounts and rewards through the customer’s loyalty account. When it’s time to check out, customers go to a dedicated counter where the cashier makes sure they scanned the correct number of items and removes a security tag.
The retailer has already tested the technology at a store in New Jersey. In addition, Macy’s plans to expand a virtual reality (VR) pilot to 60 of its stores. With this technology — which as undergone a trial period at three of its locations in New Jersey, New York and Florida — customers can experiment with moving items around a virtual room through a tablet in the retailer’s stores.
The innovations come as Macy’s seeks to evolve in the face of competition. “It’s the most competitive [retail] environment we’ve ever seen,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said at ShopTalk, according to CNBC. “Macy’s heritage isn’t going to be enough to guarantee success.”
Through the program, brands can pay a one-time fee for a space on Macy’s first floor to advertise or sell their products while retaining all of their sales. Compared to traditional pop-up stores, Macy’s own staff services the brands. And the retailer is flexible on timing: Brands can stay for as short a time period as a month.
While the pop-ups benefit brands with flexibility and staffing, they also benefit Macy’s. Through the pop-up stores, Macy’s can gain insights into customer preferences. And, of course, the promise of new products could drive customers to visit its stores.