According to a recent Reuters article, ideas gleaned from the activities of online businesses are increasingly tending to inform the strategies of stationary operators. Terry Lundgren, CEO of the US department store Macy’s, believes that consumers’ in-store experiences should make them feel as comfortable and ready to buy as when shopping online.
After rising nearly 40 percent in 2011, Macy’s expects its online sales to reach $2 billion this year, accounting for 7 percent of its total Wall Street company sales. This compares to an industry-wide online average of about 11 percent of total retail sales.
While Lundren refused to be drawn on how rapidly he expects Macy’s online sales percentage to rise, he believes online and in-store sales are mutually reinforcing. Macy's cross-channel strategy includes transforming 292 of its more than 800 stores to double as distribution centres for online orders by the end of the year, helping it to rival Amazon in its ability to get products to customers quickly.
Macy’s 130,000 sales staff now have "search and send" technology integrated into their cash registers so that if a product is not in store, they can find it on macys.com or at one of the distribution centres and thus close a sale that might have otherwise been lost to a rival.
By early 2013, shoppers should be able to use in-store "Nexus" kiosks to pull up customer reviews, create a shopping list and share it to their social media contacts.