Massive online sales diminish in-store sales at Macy’s

By AMELIA LIBMAN

Due to the surge in popularity of online shopping, Macy’s is trying to update its in-store presence to increase sales.

Online shopping overtook in-store shopping as the most popular method in 2013. One of the reasons many people prefer to shop online and aren’t flocking to the malls anymore is because some consumers have grown weary of travel time, crowds, and waiting in checkout lines.

Many of the reasons for the popularity of online shopping are quite obvious. Some examples include being able to purchase items from retailers all over the country, as well as the ability to read product reviews from other customers.

Taylor Angert, the assistant store manager of Macy’s at Northpoint Mall, said, “I’ve only been with Macy’s for about three years, but that being said, it’s changed exponentially. Macy’s online is now the seventh biggest online retailer, and it’s projected to only get bigger from there.”

Angert discussed how the in-store shopping experience has changed since he started in retail. There are several ways the in-store shopping experience is changing to mirror the online shopping experience.

“A lot of what’s changed for me, from a store’s brick and mortar perspective, is that we’re using iPads now. We’ve got about 52 in the store. We’re heading in that direction — getting rid of the registers and helping the customers shop the way they want,” said Angert.

Angert described some great examples of the advantages of shopping in-store at Macy’s. By shopping in-store, Macy’s does free shipping for $50 purchases, but Macys.com does free shipping for $100 or more. Other ways to help bring people into the store include events with live disc jockeys while shopping, as well as bringing in well-known figures on social media to help with fashion events for teenage girls.

“BOPS” or better known as “buy online, pick up in store” is a new term that Macy’s has started using, and is likely to get used more frequently in this upcoming year.

Angert said, “Northpoint actually has the highest radiated sales in the Southeast region-radiated sales meaning they came in to pick up one item, and from there they purchase additional items.”

image002Kyle Thompson, the cosmetics department manager for Macy’s at Northpoint Mall, has only been with Macy’s for three years, much like Angert.

“I’ve definitely seen a big change as far as online presence. One pretty staggering statistic they’ve given us is that we actually have seen 50 percent less traffic in our stores than about five years ago. So it’s definitely had an impact on the traffic,” Thompson said.

Even with the huge amount of people shopping online, Thompson discussed how most customers shopping for cosmetics actually prefer to come in to the store. They want the one on one attention with the employees and they like trying different samples of makeup and getting it applied to their face.

Overall, Macy’s is trying to bridge the gap between shopping online and in-store, by making sure that both mediums have equal amounts of attention and advertising to potential consumers.

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