Breaking Down Macy’s Ecommerce Experience

Mega retailer Macy’s is shooting to achieve $10 billion in online sales by 2023. But is their ecommerce platform up to the task?

Stefan Haney, Foundry’s Strategic Advisor & Interim CEO weighs in on a recent episode of Coffee + Commerce Brew.

Tune in for a break down of of Macy’s e-commerce site, including PDP image optimization, cart page optimization, and other ways for Macy’s to improve its web experience.

Full episode transcript follows:

Robert Gibb 0:10
Hello everyone. Our route today is Macy’s and we’re breaking down their ecommerce site with Stephen Haney and facile Massoud. Stephen was the director of consumer shopping and seller experience at amazon before joining foundry, a portfolio of really strong ecommerce brands. And facile he created Amazon Basics and other Amazon projects before joining staples as CTO alphabet swing project as CEO, and ultimately here at FabriK as CEO. And in this room, they direct PDP image optimizations, cart page optimizations, and many other ways for Macy’s to improve its web experience. As we’ll see in this brew optimizations are severely needed. Macy said it plan to improve its homepage and checkout experience in March. But we didn’t see any indication of that really, everything looked the same as when I purchased the bed set from Macy’s dot com about two years ago, which is an issue since Macy’s wants to go from $7.6 billion in digital sales in 2020 to $10 billion by 2023. Yet it hasn’t made any noticeable changes yet. So how will they get there? Well, the CEO said by widening its online assortment, with more styles and sizes, brands and product categories, but we found that assortment was not a major issue. Rather, you’ll see we found the experience in general to be the biggest blocker to growth. One reason for this is its reliance on rigid enterprise technology from Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle. Another reason is its reliance on stores and this is probably the biggest issue. So digital sales per capita are two to three times higher in markets with Macy’s stores, and when a store closes, ecommerce sales dropped significantly in that area. According to Macy’s CFO with net sales down from around $25 billion in 2019 to $18 billion in 2020. A serious drop Macy’s will have to reinvent its digital strategy and experience and that’s why we made this video so to get started Macy’s can direct many of the points Stephan and fast will make in this group enjoy and let us know if you have any questions.

Stefan Haney 2:15
Welcome to Coffee and commerce. So let’s do a little shopping today. You know it’s Fourth of July is coming up and I’m thinking about outdoor patio parties. Right so we’ll we’ll take a glance here looks like they’re having a sale. I don’t really think I need a neutral Bullet for My fourth of July party unless you can make great margaritas of the neutral bullet I don’t know if that’s a great thing don’t care about all this clothes today. While they’re gonna do something on TV they want to tell me about a lot of stuff I like the outdoor furniture idea All right, let’s go see how we find that I guess it’s home see if there’s so many things on sale I guess from getting an air fryer on sale as a patio set. We’re going to try to navigate directly through our door

Faisal Masud 2:51
so let’s go to category furniture Okay,

Stefan Haney 2:54
well that’s pretty good to do it right on top right furniture stayed in the sale and clearance so they held on to where I was you guys notice that? I’ve been in this debate before like do you really want this alphabetically organized?

Faisal Masud 3:06
You’ve just clicked an outdoor table before it should recognize you’re looking for outdoor furniture and sort by

Stefan Haney 3:13
your accessories. Oh looks like

Faisal Masud 3:16
furniture and accessories so that’s that’s naming convention issues there.

Stefan Haney 3:19
Yeah, just kidding. Outdoor accessories also. Last time I checked it my expectation was accessories are not going to be $3,100

Faisal Masud 3:28
Check out the room type real quick. Let’s see what what it’s showing right now.

Stefan Haney 3:32
Okay, go for it home bar kids room living room outdoor. So that’s a little wonky. Some classification issues there, right, because I’ve already filtered to outdoor accessories and furniture. I don’t know about Macy’s, right. But on the data I’m familiar with nobody clicks on this many filters.

Faisal Masud 3:48
Let’s look at a chase. Can you filter to a chase?

Stefan Haney 3:51
No price, no room type. I’m done on furniture category. That’s as far as I can get. So it can’t filter down to a Type I want if I can sort pretty standards or high to low relevance rated.

Faisal Masud 4:02
What if we search for Chase? Confusing experience?

Stefan Haney 4:07
Okay, you know, one of the things I’m finding a little jarring but do that again. The visuals. Yeah, that’s actually pretty nice. They have visuals in the search results. A lot of times I look at sites and like they’re making me read so much. Where’s the chase in that picture? So there’s no Chase and the rest of the pictures?

Faisal Masud 4:22
Yeah, it’s almost like it’s advertising their whole catalog for that brand.

Stefan Haney 4:25
Alright, we just triggered one of my number one pain points on on product pages. We compared to this two article right is a piece of furniture. It’s $1,000. For two of them. What should be the star of the show on this page? The chair should be the picture right? The chair. It feels like such an afterthought gives me a little zoom. If I it’s about a quarter of the page.

Robert Gibb 4:46
Yeah, I use Macy’s. I was always going for the deal because they say everything is on sale. So it would be okay. When I did shop on Macy’s if there weren’t as many pictures I was willing to take a little bit more of a risk because I thought I was getting a deal I mean

Stefan Haney 5:02
it’s still this is $1,000 deal you know if you’re saying that the principle is the transaction risk if I lower the transaction risk right but there’s no clear return on the this above the fold piece lots about the offer lots about what can I get it but I’m still in the What is this thing I have

Faisal Masud 5:18
one other issue their upselling or cross selling the cheaper chase on the right, like why would you do that?

Stefan Haney 5:24
Usually they do this vertically like they’re trying to bring stuff up to where the customers are versus doing it horizontally by the way so there’s only four images I can get to the close up but I only see it from one way so I’m not seeing it head on here’s I get to see like apparently the detail of the sidebar I would like to see this thing big I want to go down the road of just keep keep comparing a little bit so you know first right off the bat articles a furniture dedicated site so little easier to get to the filters. Look at all that you can

Faisal Masud 5:51
see already the image size is significant. Lots of images.

Stefan Haney 5:58
Now we’re back on Macy’s. You know, remember, we were on we were looking at different furniture site, they had a whole stream of about 12 images. There’s no video on this does it fold? How does it move? Man making me do a lot of work to see if I really think the font size on

Faisal Masud 6:11
product details is very small. I mean that needs some work to read. And this is

Stefan Haney 6:16
not always small, but like there’s a little bit of bolding. There’s a little bit of bolding and then here let me jump out in your red visual layout is is it helping me absorb the information faster?

Faisal Masud 6:27
There’s the return policy right there you have to click it to see it can’t ship anywhere

Stefan Haney 6:31
shipping method. Oh no. I have to call customer service returns and I have to read a policy.

Robert Gibb 6:37
It’s annoying. I’ve been through that process before it’s a nightmare.

Stefan Haney 6:40
So had the bag alright stated up modal overlay out set of a strike. That’s not gonna work on mobile

Faisal Masud 6:49
12 cross sells and one half a page like this is super bad. Look at the size of the bed versus the chair and the text is all over the place. If you look at the format if you go down like this is like all over

Stefan Haney 7:01
so that sizing things interesting thing, especially with furniture where we know that customer is willing to know how’s it going to fit the size of the piece is going to determine how it gets delivered. You know this isn’t coming UPS friends what I look as the kind of visual dominance of I’m about to spend $1,000 This is not feel like $1,000 experience so I’m not feeling good about my purchase. Offers Sorry, no offers. Congrats. You get free shipping like

Faisal Masud 7:27
anyone looking good job recommended for you on the checkout page.

Stefan Haney 7:32
It’s mildly more relevant. At least there’s some outdoor stuff. Yeah, I

Robert Gibb 7:35
feel for whoever’s working on these because I know they’re trapped in some monolithic platform that was probably built like 20 to 30 years ago. There’s just no flexibility for customization.

Stefan Haney 7:45
Yeah, they made a grid. I can try to segment out different parts of the page. If this grid wasn’t here, like I’m not even sure how to consume what’s in front of

Robert Gibb 7:55
me. Also, if you’re selling that many categories, would you call it a shopping bag?

Stefan Haney 7:59
It’s just a little bit off right not a bag and buying outdoor chases, you know your your purchase.

Faisal Masud 8:05
Bottom right stuff on bag Id do you see that? Yeah. What pricing are not guaranteed?

Robert Gibb 8:14
Yeah, we’ve seen that before Faisal on other sites. They had some stuff down at the bottom. This is not good. I know Ryan said that last page is completely unnecessary. Like just take people to the guest checkout or just the standard like one checkout,

Faisal Masud 8:29
they wanted to cross sell you with those items. That’s why it was the extra cart page. Ridiculous.

Stefan Haney 8:35
I’m not sure if I should feel bad because I have no offers, it might not be available. My free shipping might not count because this is a furniture thing. So you might be lying to me. So congrats. I get free shipping except for this $19 I’m getting a partial promised delivery date. You do not have to do math ships within five business days. Does that mean I’m gonna get it in five business days or someone’s gonna put out a box on a truck sometime this week? Maybe? Okay, I’m tired out I’m gonna go

Faisal Masud 9:02
that cart that top of funnel conversion is probably someone percent. I mean, the

Stefan Haney 9:07
upside is, you know, there’s a lot of simple things to fix there.

Robert Gibb 9:10
Alright, everyone. So we saw that Macy’s has an impressive selection of products. But there are many ways they can improve their experience in the short and long term. First based on the video and fasten Stephens input. They can improve catalog organization and naming conventions. And they can resolve some of these issues in the short term with a QA effort pretty simple. And they can also improve catalog management and scalability with a tool like hierarchies that we have in fabric PIM or our product information manager. Second, they can add more larger images. So PDP images only account for a fraction of the page right now as Stephen pointed out, and image galleries contain around four photos. In general, larger photos convert better and most shoppers expect to see an average of around six images. Finally, Macy’s They can decrease friction in the cart by removing mentions of free shipping. When shipping is not actually free. We saw that parcel shipping of $19. And beyond that they can remove the technical debt that restricts pricing and availability guarantees. So you think you’re buying something and then bam, it’s not available or you’re not getting the price you expected. That’s a really bad experience that can be directed, but you have to direct the underlying technology first. So overall, there’s a lot of work to do on macys.com If the retailer wants to get out of this sales slump, and stop relying so much on its stores. Fortunately, optimizations can be made with relatively small tweaks, as Stephen pointed out, but the overall experience points to a larger issue related to the outdated technology and logistics. All right, everyone. Thanks so much for watching and leave a comment if you have a question or want us to clarify anything

Transcribed by https://otter.ai