Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mobile Retailing - Macy's and Bloomingdale's Mobile Applications Strategies

Macy's and sister store Bloomingdale's recently announced that they have both recently revised and improved their e-commerce websites to better support their mobile retailing strategy.  When customers use an internet-capable mobile device to visit macys.com and bloomingdales.com, they now see larger and clearer images and click-through buttons so using the sites are faster and easier. Technology detects the type of mobile device a shopper is using and customizes the presentation of macys.com and bloomingdales.com to that customer.  They have added the following features to their e-commerce websites:
  1. When consumers access their websites through a mobile device, they can view larger and clearer images and click-through buttons.
  2. The site is faster and easier for mobile devices. 
  3. New technology detects the type of mobile device and customizes the website accordingly.
Many of their customers come to the website after receiving email messages from Macy's or Bloomingdale's that they read on their mobile devices.  When they click the links they routed to the e-commerce website that is now optimized for their mobile device.

On the mobile retailing application side they have done the following:
  1. Macy's upgraded and relaunched their iPhone application - iShop.
  2. They are testing various marketing scenarios and strategies with shopkick and Foursquare.
Macy's new version of the iShop application for iPhones provides the following features.

  • Loads faster
  • Navigates easier
  • Integrates in real-time with macys.com to provide an improved mobile shopping experience
  • Browse through merchandise
  • Place and track orders
  • Read product reviews
  • Explore gift guides
  • Find store locations
  • Access information on special events and campaigns
Macy's is also testing location based services.  Here is an excerpt from their recent press release

Macy's has begun piloting the use of shopkick -- a new location-based shopping app -- at about 150 stores in the New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago markets. By downloading shopkick free from the iPhone App Store, Macy's customers can earn "kickbucks" reward points by simply walking into a Macy's store with their mobile device. They also will receive offers on products or related to specific departments within Macy's. Kickbucks can be redeemed, at the touch of a button on the iPhone, for Facebook Credits to play games online, song downloads, in-store gift rewards at Macy's and other shopkick partner stores, magazine subscriptions, iPods and charitable donations.

I recently interviewed Dan Homrich, CEO of Smartsoft Mobile Solutions about mobile retailing applications.  Many of Smartsoft's largest mobility customers are global retailers.  Mobile retailing is a fast growing and emerging mobility market segment that compliments SAP's mobile strategy to touch over 1 billion users by 2014.  You accomplish that kind of ambitious goal by placing valuable mobile applications into the hands of consumers, not just enterprise users.

Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
Phone +1 208-991-4410
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.