For the second straight year, big-box retailer Macy’s earned the top spot in our Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail rankings. Beating out 75 other brands for the title — including Nordstrom at No. 2 (the only other digital ‘Genius’ in the study) and Victoria’s Secret at No. 3 — Macy’s proved its digital acumen across 675 data points in four main areas: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Mobile. To shed some light on why Macy’s continues to outperform competitors in the department store category (Bloomingdale’s, Saks, JC Penney), the retail chain category (Gap, American Eagle Outfitters) and even the high-end niche retail category (Sephora, Crate & Barrel, Ralph Lauren), we’ve highlighted below some of the 154-year-old store’s most outstanding digital efforts.


Macy’s has a strong and diversified social media presence, with active pages on all the major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. Its Facebook community is highly-engaged and very large–to-date, almost seven million fans. Its page is regularly updated, aesthetically pleasing, and includes original, on-brand content promoting sales, special deals and its many partnerships with celebrities like Jessica Simpson, P. Diddy, Taylor Swift, and fashion designers like Rachel Roy, Karl Lagerfeld, and Alberta Ferretti.


In terms of its main site, Macy’s scored solidly on all fronts, particularly with its registry incorporation. Overall, is a functional success, but in terms of design and innovative features, the site leaves room for major improvement. Where won back some points, however, is with its online-sales distribution centers and its use of TrueFit technology, which simplifies size-ordering.


Macy’s digital marketing profile was also quite impressive, with strong SEO, SEM and site traffic. Their score was also bolstered by active SMS marketing for the NBC show “Fashion Star” — of which it was a sponsor — and its geolocal partnership with Shopkick, an app that facilitated in-store fan rewards for special events and promotions.


Mobile is where Macy’s really shines. The entire site is mobile-optimized and e-commerce enabled with a robust, reliable search. Its app includes in-store functionality (with scanning capability), sales and registry management. Macy’s ‘Brasil’ app, released earlier this summer, integrates seamlessly with in-store promotions (e.g., augmented reality), QR codes, games and contests.


To learn more about the new Specialty Retail rankings and research, download an excerpt of the report here.


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