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Macy’s exec: Mobile amplifies multichannel, multiscreen marketing

May 13, 2013

NEW YORK – A Macy’s executive at the 2013 MMA Forum said that over the years, mobile has made a significant impact in the retailer’s day-to-day initiatives, including its mobile application, QR code, augmented reality and real-time buying efforts.

During the “Reinventing Retail” keynote presentation, the executive discussed how the point of engagement and the point of transaction have never been closer, with mobile now playing a key role in facilitating and completing transactions, and also enabling the always-on socialization happening on devices — including time spent in-store. The keynote session was moderated by Jason Newport, senior vice president of mobile strategy at Carat.

“As retailers, not only have we been aware of the increasing use of mobile in our stores, but we’re attracted to how mobile customers are using it for the entire path to purchase,” said Jennifer Kasper, group vice president of digital, new media and multicultural marketing at Macy’s.

“When it comes to convergence – it is not the end all be all, it’s about exploration and price checking,” she said. “It informs the purchase, but doesn’t always close the sale.”

Observing behavior
According to Ms. Kasper, it is important that retailers observe customer behavior to better understand their core consumer.

Change may be a hard thing for many marketers, but technology is changing, consumers are adopting it, and thus, marketers must adapt.

There are many driving forces of change, such as a generational catalyst, social, mobile as a remote and multiscreen marketing.

When it comes to mobile, Macy’s has dipped its toes in the medium quite a bit. The retailer has a mobile site, mobile apps and has tried QR codes, SMS and augmented reality.

The Macy’s mobile site is a tabletstake for the company, per Ms. Kasper. And right now, speed, seamlessness and agility is key.

The company’s mobile app is also vital to its overall strategy, especially for its “Fashion Star” campaign where consumers are able to buy clothes featured on the TV show in real-time.

The initiative helps build a relationship between the retailer and its customers and connected with them on a variety of channels.

Furthermore, mobile helps strengthen the in-store experience.

Later this year, Macy’s is launching SantaLand within its mobile app where consuemrs will be able to make reservations.

Mobile success
Over the past few years, Macy’s has developed a mobile-first mentality.

“Our traditional media budget dwarfs what we spend on mobile,” Ms. Kasper said.

Additionally, the executive said that mobile education is important.

“It’s important to integrate mobile calls to action throughout to not only continue teaching customers, but making those tools more measureable,” Ms. Kasper said.

Up next, Macy’s is working with fashion guru Clinton Kelly where consumers can turn to social media such as Facebook and Twitter to get fashion advice.

“We’ve launched this idea of #HelpMeClinton,” Ms. Kasper said. “Our moderation team listens for these questions and we’re answering them all.”

Final Take

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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