As someone charged with building out delivery options and optimizing them for consumers, Jill Ramsey, chief product and digital revenue officer of Macy’s Inc., admitted that she’s no different than the retailer’s customers. “I get very excited to see that package on the doorstep,” she said.
Speaking during a conversation with WWD deputy managing editor Evan Clark, Ramsey revealed that Macy’s on Oct. 1 will relaunch same-day delivery in 30 markets nationwide. The service will be offered free for a limited time with qualifying purchases of $75 or more.
Same-day delivery will be available on thousands of eligible top-selling items across a range of categories, with inventory specific to each of the 30 mostly urban locations. To find eligible products, customers enter their zip code and filter search results by same-day delivery products. They build a bag with only those items, and unlock free shipping when the value of the bag reaches $75 or more.
Ramsey said with the relaunch, Macy’s will become the first department store to offer same-day shipping without a membership fee.
The retailer in 2014 introduced same-day delivery on a limited selection of products in five markets. “It was hard to find on the web site,” Ramsey said. “It didn’t get a ton of traction. Over the last two years, we’ve made significant investments in new technology in our stores and on our web site that have given us the ability to better serve our customer’s needs.”
Enhanced technology infrastructure also powers Macy’s buy online, pick-up in store or buy online, ship to store, which also allow customers to purchase hundreds of thousands of items to receive the same day.
“If she can’t get to the store today, we’ll ship it to her,” Ramsey said. “We know same-day matters. Customer expectations around delivery speed continue to rise. A customer expects some portion of your assortment to be available for same-day delivery.”
Consumers who choose same-day delivery at checkout and place their order by noon local time, Monday through Saturday, or 10 a.m. local time on Sunday, will receive items the same day. Orders placed after the cut-off times will be delivered the following day.
Macy’s recently relaunched its web site, moving from an “incredibly promotional-looking site to a more elevated look,” Ramsey said. “We’re bringing her more inspiration, more choices, more features and more convenience.”
Ramsey, who previously spent five years on walmart.com’s launch team, connecting stores to online, said macys.com plays three critically important roles for consumers. The e-commerce site is the front window to the brand, the largest store in the chain and offers the broadest selection of products.
“Our app is adding a ton of in-store features to make it indispensable for consumers,” she said. “Our most loyal customers use the app and 70 percent of app users use the Macy’s credit card. These shoppers spend two and a half times more than other customers.”
Before the app was retooled, Ramsey said customers weren’t really using it in the retailer’s stores. “We had the opportunity to build out features such as being able to pick up online orders at a store using a bar code,” she said. “We built a scan and pay feature and we’re piloting payment with the Macy’s card to breeze through the checkout line.”
Navigating stores is also easier, and the app pushes appropriate in-store promotions and offers and cross-recommendations for products. Stylists can now be followed and can interact with consumers via chat. “We have thousands of vendors and millions of sku’s,” Ramsey said. “We have to help customers curate that. Now, 20 percent of the volume is coming from customers who engage with recommendations.”
Ramsey said Macy’s honed its algorithms so that recommendations are refined and informed by customers’ histories. “We combine the personal customer history with what she’s looking for today and the wisdom of the crowd,” she said. “Algorithms have to have human input. The best e-commerce has a human touch. It elevates the e-commerce experience.”
Ramsey said Macy’s creates the editorial style of fashion shoots, but uses algorithms to find and sort looks online. “It’s the art of merchandising with the power of an algorithm,” she said. “I live in a 100-year-old house and work for a 160-year-old company. I have a deep respect for history and a desire to take it forward.”