Macy’s recently announced that it plans to fully integrate same day delivery on its site after previously offering same day delivery in 2014 to select markets and removing it due to limited traction. The move comes after evolving competence of big box retailers in selling apparel and integrating expediting shipping on site, propelling forward the notion to consumers that they should be able to purchase any item and receive it however and whenever they would like.
With the offering’s resurgence, Macy’s customers can get same day delivery of products across multiple categories specific to inventory from thirty locations. The offering is free for a limited time when customers hit a $75 shipping minimum and will later shift to a fee of $8 on top of the order.
Across department stores tracked in Gartner L2’S Digital IQ Index: Department Stores, next-day shipping and buy online, pickup in-store option have steadily increased in adoption to 81% and 73%, respectively. Meanwhile, retailers have slightly pulled back from offering same-day shipping, dropping from 30% to 28% of tracked brands, and seeing adoption mainly from luxury and digital pure play department stores.
Macy’s same-day shipping initiative accompanies omnichannel sophistication on site. The store is among the 27% of advanced department stores which offer omnichannel filters on category pages surfacing next-day delivery and buy online, pickup in store. Gartner L2 has observed early signs of filtering functionality for same-day fulfillment on grid pages as well, even though the offering has not fully launched. The same-day delivery filtering functionality is removed in the afternoon, likely after Macy’s is unable to truly get the item to consumers that same day. This level of site sophistication could prove beneficial to avoiding disappointing customers and fulfilling the promise of same-day, but risks confusing customers if it is not clear.
The dynamic site filters hint at a test and experiment strategy which likely matches the strategy being applied to determine whether or not this offering is financially viable for the retailer. Macy’s Chief Product and Digital Revenue Officer recently said, “We have an eye on the price and what it will cost us [to provide free same-day delivery]… We’re testing and learning. We may need to set the threshold [minimum purchase requirement] higher.” Macy’s has proven it’s willing to compete by joining the cohort of retailers offering same-day shipping. And it appears it is looking to translate the ground work that was placed to make buy online, pick up in store seamless for customers into similar functionality for same-day fulfillment. But as customer expectations around fast fulfillment increase and big box retailers’ fashion initiatives expand, it’s less about having same-day shipping and more about making it work.