Macy’s Discovers Killer Sales App

Discussion
Jun 09, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Kent Anderson, president of Macys.com, told attendees at the Internet Retailer conference that his company had found the “killer app” for getting people to buy online.
“Keep it simple, straightforward and easy to buy,” he said.


Macys.com offers a variety of other bells and whistles, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times by Sandra Guy, including “size charts; ‘zoom’ photography that details
a specific apparel item; the ability to search ready-to-wear apparel by size, brand, gender or department; and ‘clickable swatches’ that let shoppers see outfits in a variety
of colors and mix-and-match choices.”


The retailer has used an opt-in email program to tailor messages of special interest to Macys.com’s most loyal shoppers (those with a Macy’s credit card that shop both online
and in the company’s stores), said Mr. Anderson. The result has been this group of shoppers has increased their annual spending on the site from $700 to $900 a year.


A report by Internet Retailer back it in April, sourcing Mr. Anderson, said Macys.com increased revenue during the 2004 holiday season by 50 percent over the previous
year using the company’s email marketing program combining “Web site analytics with personalization techniques.”


Moderator’s Comment: What is your assessment of the Macys.com shopping experience, the company’s integration of data from various internal sources (credit
card, online and in-store sales) and its email marketing program?

George Anderson – Moderator

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5 Comments on "Macy’s Discovers Killer Sales App"


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Doug Fleener
Guest
15 years 8 months ago

I am by no means an expert on online shopping but I definitely do enough personally to know what I like and dislike. After spending some time on Macys.com, I can’t say I see anything better or different than SaksFifthAvenue.com or LandsEnd.com. What I will add though is that any retailer, online or brick and mortar, that can “keep it simple, straightforward and easy to buy” will always do better than those that do not.

Rick Moss
Guest
15 years 8 months ago
It’s interesting to compare the current Father’s Day promotions being done on Macys.com vs. landsend.com and llbean.com. Macy’s devotes much of their home page to the event, and, without even the need for a click-thru, gives you category choices for Dad… electronics, clothing, fragrances, watches, etc. Although, as a department store, they have to share the home page real estate with other departments, they’ve balanced the priorities nicely, I think. Lands’ End, in that they are more of a specialty retailer, apparently felt confident that using almost 100% of the home page for Dad would be worthwhile. But instead of breaking down click-thru choices by product category, they go more for “need states”…gift cards, gifts under $25, office dad, active dad, etc. Very smart. L.L. Bean is in the midst of a big 20 – 60% off summer sale, so Dad is relegated to a small box in the lower right of the home page. Although the “Find Dad’s Perfect Gift” headline is tempting, seems that shoppers would be torn between first checking out what… Read more »
Tom McGoldrick
Guest
Tom McGoldrick
15 years 8 months ago

Keeping things simple is always a good service idea. It is even more important when competitors are just a click away. I think every time I have purchased something online I have had multiple competing sites up simultaneously to compare and contrast. Experiencing competing offers simultaneously has to be the most competitive environment imaginable.

In addition, many people feel more comfortable buying online from a retailer with a local presence because returns can be made in the store. I am surprised no one has figured out how to offer an in store pick-up service. If something is purchased online and picked up in a store with no shipping charges, can the consumer avoid paying both sales tax and shipping?

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
15 years 8 months ago

It’s catch-up, not break-through. This week we discussed JCPenney’s astute copying of sales techniques pioneered by others, and improving upon them with superior execution. Macys.com is approaching their online business in the same way – copying – and it seems to me that any differentiation at this point must come from superior execution.

Simplicity is the key to superior execution. I shop online nearly every day, and several times a day I surf through competitors’ online retail sites (I’m in the bidness). I’m constantly amazed at the growing complexity of these sites. If I have trouble navigating them, what is the challenge to the average consumer?

Macys.com does not offer a simple shopping interface.

Mike Romano
Guest
Mike Romano
15 years 8 months ago

I am very impressed with Macy’s lately. As a busy working person, I never know when sales are happening but they have started to call me at home and let me know when there’s a sale and I can use my Macy’s credit card and sometimes get an extra 10% or 15% off. I can tell you they have gotten much more money from me the last 6 months, and the in-store service is still awesome– which is something we demand here in Southern California.

I can see if they are doing this at macys.com, why it would be working so well there.

Keep up the good work Macy’s. In this market with new competition and low price feeders like Kohl’s, this is definitely a winner strategy.

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