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Macy's launches new VR and AR tech

Macy’s Inc. is revitalizing its department store chain with a slew of new technology initiatives utilizing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), including high-tech makeup simulations.

On the Macy’s app, the retailer has launched Visualize Your Space, a tool that allows users to virtually place Macy's furniture into photos of their homes, testing how the pieces fit with their current interiors. The app is available now for iOS products and will be available for Android in 2019. In pilot stores, the company found that virtual-reality furniture experiences have increased the overall basket size by more than 60 percent versus non-VR furniture sales. In stores, Macy's has also debuted virtual mirror kiosks that allow shoppers to digitally try on more than 250 trending beauty products. Using kiosk cameras, the mirror allows shoppers to swipe through eye shadow and lipstick shades, trying them on without physically having to use the product. These virtual mirrors are currently available at approximately 50 stores nationwide and Macy’s is currently testing a similar augmented-reality beauty feature on its mobile app. Topping off the company's technological refresh, Macy's has also incorporated new tech behind the scenes through non-customer facing features, including the Beauty Playground training tool to educate beauty counter employees, as well as Radio-Frequency Identification, which helps to better organize back-office management. “Our technology enhancements are practical applications that will engage our customers while also driving sales," said Hal Lawton, president of Macy’s, in a release. "The investments we are making behind the scenes will enable our colleagues to give our customers the best shopping experience possible." The department store has also announced a partnership with Facebook, which will bring in nearly 150 e-commerce brands to a physical shopping space, called The Market @ Macy’s. This marketplace will debut across nine stores this holiday season, and will allow shoppers to browse e-commerce-based brands in person. Products in each market will rotate through selections of products from multiple categories, including apparel, accessories, beauty and decorative home goods. Macy’s showcased its new technological initiatives at the Code Commerce On-Location Event in New York City on September 17 and 18.


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