Runner-up in L2’s 2014 Digital IQ Index: Department Stores Macy’s holds Genius status for the second year in a row, thanks to effective email marketing, search visibility, aggressive Facebook advertising, and targeting of tourist shoppers. Yet, America’s largest department store has not been resting on its laurels. It has ambitious plans to improve in-store technology and omnichannel capabilities.

This week, Macy’s announced same-day delivery in Houston, Los Angeles, New Jersey, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The service will cost $5 (competitive with Amazon) and be implemented by Silicon Valley Startup Deliv. Macy’s will also test beacon technology in stores this fall in a partnership with Shopkick, a mobile app that delivers real-time discounts redeemable in nearby stores. In-store technology is expected to be upgraded: new handheld POS devices to ease in-store pickup of online purchases and smart fitting rooms that search for scanned items in different colors and sizes. Additionally, Macy’s and Macy’s-owned Bloomingdale’s will be the first retailers to test Apple Pay and RFID capabilities will be updated for more accurate in-store inventory search.

omnichannel--textA survey of retailers revealed that technology was one of the biggest barriers to creating a true omnichannel shopping experience for customers, right behind lack of training and prohibitive business models. Forty-percent of retailers reported difficulty integrating back-end technology across channels as a challenge and 39% reported difficulty integrating customer data and analytics. Outdated POS systems and limited in-store technology was another barrier, cited by 32% of retailers. It looks like Macy’s is making the right investments.

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