In the face of declining department stores, Macy’s shines as a beacon of hope—at least, for now. The company reported expectation-exceeding second-quarter earnings this week, a far cry from the holiday season, when the retailer was shutting stores and cutting jobs as sales dipped. Here are a few key tips brands can take from Macy’s digital playbook:
See the best in yourself. Macy’s tapped into its own employee pool to populate its new influencer program. Though it meant straying from the norm, it also meant the potential of reward with little risk of appearing inauthentic and no burden of expensive, often promiscuous influencers.
Help yourself help others. The Macy’s app has an In-Store mode that offers a significant promotion for new app users, prompting them to enable location services for enhanced in-store guidance. This can help capture customer behavior through location services, collecting data on where in-store time is spent. The brand also experiments with virtual reality functionality in its app, despite the fact that VR technology is expensive.
Break the mall mold. The chain acquired Story, an experience-based shop in New York, earlier this year. The physical store breaks from the shackles of traditional department stores with its shape-shifting format, while the evolving concepts hold the potential to cater to more than the usual mall crowd. In addition to an evolving range of themed items every six to eight weeks, Story also offers “experiences” in the form of yoga and cooking classes, something no other department store except Macy’s rival Nordstrom has tried out so far.
Trust your customers. 91% of consumers read online reviews and 84% trust them as much as a personal recommendation. Macy’s crowdsources customer reviews down to the tiniest detail, including allowing customers to rate specifically if a trickier article of clothing doesn’t fit.