Macy's will use VR to sell furniture in 50 stores by summer

Marco Green
March 20, 2018

The company is also adding an augmented reality shopping experience for furniture to the Macy's app, hitting phones as early as next month for some shoppers.

Macy's will also soon start piloting mobile checkout at its Bloomingdale's location in New York's SoHo neighborhood, with plans to grow the platform to this department store brand at a later date. The app allows customers to scan their own items as they shop and pay for them with their phone.

The department store chain said in a statement that beginning in April, all Macy's customers who have downloaded its free app for Android and iOS will be able to use mobile checkout, which they can access via free in-store Wi-Fi. Once customers have done this, they can use the camera on their smartphone and scanner in the app to puts items in their cart. Once they're ready to check out, customers can pay on the app with their pre-registered credit card to complete the transaction. From there, they will walk to the special Mobile Checkout counters where Macy's associates verify the purchase, remove security tags and bag their items. According to a new report, Macy's wants to improve sales in its stores by employing virtual reality. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by fall 2018 "and will cover a significant portion of Macy's largest furniture departments", the company said.

Furniture is traditionally a high touch business, and the new Virtual Reality in-store furniture design experience, powered by Marxent's 3D Cloud and VR solution, is reducing customer worry over fit as they test out potential purchases virtually. First they will map out the basic dimensions and shape of the room for which they are buying products.

Retailers such as Lowe's and IKEA have offered VR experiences for their consumers within stores, but neither have brought the technology to the vast store footprint that Macy's has plans for.

The VR tools will allow customers to create a virtual replication of their home or specific room via their tablet, and then drag and drop various products into the 2D space. Furniture shoppers can use the VR tools to deploy and design a fully-furnished room to see how it looks.

While some might think that virtual reality is going to make life hard for physical retailers, there are retailers who are open to embracing this technology and Macy's plans to be one of them.

Macy's is the latest retailer to announce that it will be upgrading its innovation and experiences for customers in an increasingly digital world.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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