Macy's Trials Fulfillment Programs to Improve Customer Experience

Macy's continues to see strength in its omnichannel transactions and online purchasing, including transactions on mobile devices, shipping from stores to satisfy online demand and shipping from warehouses to satisfy store demand. The retailer also tested "buy online, pickup in store," this fall and based on the positive results is now rolling it out to all stores during the spring season. "We continue to find our stores to be important even in our online only buyers whether it would be to check out a color, try something on, browse to get ideas or make a return," said Karen Hoguet, Macy's CFO.  
The retailer remains focused on developing omnichannel strategies that will enable it to better serve customers and attract new customers. The increased collaboration between stores and dotcom teams is enabling Macy's to identify new growth opportunities and ways to be more productive.
"I think the key thing is we are testing lots of things as we go through the first quarter, whether it be relating to our assortments or how to be more efficient in terms of the store fulfillment," said Hoguet. "We talked about the buy online pickup in-store – we're trying to scientifically measure all of these results as we go, so that's going to be very important. If I think about things that are making us successful online, frankly it's very similar to what's making us successful in-store, which is merchandising strategies and without the right assortments and the right service levels, it almost doesn’t matter if you have sexy technology and I think that's what's driving our omnichannel business today."
Currently, Macy's is doing a test on the dress area with one combined inventory between channels. The retailer is also moving people around so that they get different experiences, whether it is store merchandizing or dotcom and that's helping to enhance this collaboration. "I'm excited about the growth going forward because I think the combination of these teams working together is going to be very powerful," noted Hoguet.
Looking forward to 2014 the retailer will leverage technology to better localize its assortments, as well as refine ethnicity strategies for localized growth. "There are so many opportunities to accelerate our growth by applying a My Macy's lens to all of our merchandized strategies," continued Hoguet. "Importantly, we remain committed to stores which we believe are important for us to connect with customers and local communities."
To fully appreciate where the company stands going into 2014 consider the contrast to where it was just five years ago when it started the journey as a restructured company. Since then, Macy's has become a fundamentally different company that is able to serve customer needs no matter how that customer prefers to shop. It can strategically access and manage inventories across channels. The retailer has balanced its ability to offer localized fashion, differentiation and newness while also delivering the value and service that customers expect and demand.
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