The U.S. department store will begin installing VR stations in 90 stores to sell furniture to customers.
When Macy’s first opened their doors to the public in 1858 on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue in New York City, no one would have guessed that the small dry goods store would evolve into one of the largest and most innovative retailers in the world.
In their endeavor to become the de facto leader of the retail world, Macy’s pioneered a series of new ideas that would impact the industry in monumental ways. They were the first company to promote a woman, Margaret Getchell, to an executive position, the first to practice the “one-price system” in which every customer paid the same price as opposed to bargaining, and the first to possess a New York City liquor license, just to name a few.
Fast forward to today’s fast-paced, tech-savvy retail market, and Macy’s is still leading the charge in retail innovations. Most recently, Macy’s revealed a new partnership with Marxent – a company that focuses on helping retailers prepare for a future where 3D technology and VR will play center stage in the shopping experience – to conduct a massive roll out of VR installations to approximately 70 Macy stores nationwide, with an additional 20 locations by January 2019, each designed to give you a futuristic VR furniture shopping experience.
If the numbers provided are indeed accurate, this would make Macy’s campaign the largest roll out of VR in a retail setting to-date.
Through Macy’s VR Furniture shopping experience, customers would be able to create a 2D floor plan and then convert it into a 3D model in real-time using Marxent’s 3D Cloud service. Once you’ve done that, you then have the ability to decorate your floorplan using highly accurate digital 3D models of furniture from Macy’s catalog that you can use to stage your new floorplan.
However, the experience doesn’t stop there. Strap on a VR headset and step into your design to explore the room in a more realistic scale, make adjustments, see how things look from different angles, swap out furniture, and move things around.
To test the waters to see if Macy’s customers were ready for a VR shopping experience, the company set up three pilot stores with VR headsets. What they discovered was that VR actually had a large influence on their sales, resulting in an overall 60% boost over non-VR furniture sales. They also saw a 2% decrease in returns.
All that is required is enough room for a tablet computer and a VR headset, giving Macy’s the ability to showcase a larger selection of furniture regardless of available space.
In an official press release from Macy’s, Hal Lawton, President of Macy’s said, “Macy’s is constantly looking for ways to bring excitement and fresh experience to our customers. Through the Macy’s VR furniture experience, we are giving our customers a new way to visualize a large selection of furniture products.”
In addition to Macy’s VR rollout, the company will also be updating its iOS Macy’s app to include an AR furniture shopping experience called, “See Your Space IRL,” which will let customers place AR furniture into your own home to see if you like it.
Android users can expect to see Macy’s app update at some point 2019.
Image Credit: Macy’s