Macy’s is America’s department store, with over 800 locations nationwide and a large selection of fashion and luxury products. For travelers coming from all over the world, Macy’s is a popular shopping destination, and Visit Macy’s (the Tourism Marketing & Development branch of Macy’s) offers events and special city-based programs for their international and out-of-town customers.
When Visit Macy’s wanted to enhance their digital presence, the goals were clear: create a website that can deliver information and content in a visually stunning manner, make lasting opportunities for consumers to interact with the Macy’s brand and increase the rate of customers to Macy’s locations. The new site includes city guides, information on store-based events and dining opportunities, as well as savings coupons and promotional discounts. It also has an in-depth blog ranging in topic from fashion events to flower shows, holiday parades and seasonal recipes.
In the past, Visit Macy’s had implemented various small-scale projects to gradually improve its existing website, but these actions were not governed by an overarching point of view or a cohesive strategy. The previous site’s limited content types were silo-ing and obscuring critical visitor opportunities and also limited the ways in which the team could present and promote various initiatives. For example, blogs were being used to present in-store events and would stay in the site long after the events had ended, detailed floor department listings that had long ago changed were taking up valuable site real estate and the site did not include key cities and stores. Store experiences, dining options and discount opportunities that are major visitor lures were buried, missing or unclear.
Visit Macy’s decided to improve the website and start over. The core objectives were twofold: Rebrand to enhance the tourism organization’s identity and better distinguish it from the retail-oriented parent company, while still evoking it; and Rebuild the existing site to lend it a far more integrated and flexible structure and add booking functionality linked to present CRM systems. The end goal of these actions was to boost global visitation; help domestic and international users discover, explore and engage with site content; and fuel conversions to produce a greater number of store visits and purchases, as well as greater participation in Macy’s events and experiences. With substantial tourism already coming from Brazil and Latin America, Visit Macy’s sought to further increase it.
THE OLD SITE:
STRATEGY & TACTICS
We evaluated Visit Macy’s core brand values and offerings—those most capable of attracting tourism—and determined that the website’s look and structure should be a vibrant expression of Macy’s inventive retail locations that unlock opportunities in the cities that surround them; celebratory events focused on holiday traditions and style trends; delicious dining options; special savings opportunities; and visitor services and programs that enrich the customer experience, both in stores and beyond.
By analyzing Visit Macy's needs and drivers, we designed fresh branding concepts and a new site structure, components, functionality, content types, navigation and tagging taxonomy that would provide visitors with the greatest exposure to touristic offerings and keep them moving through the site to discover yet more. An intensive audit of all existing site content led to critical insights regarding what should be retained as is, kept and revised, discarded and created from scratch to achieve the project goals.
NEEDS FOR WEBSITE:
Macy’s Retail Locations, Savings Opportunities, Special Events and Style Trends,
Dining Options, Visitor Services and Programs
To achieve the project's objectives in the most cost-effective manner, the website redesign followed a two-phase approach. Phase I involved analysis, re-branding and rebuilding the site. Phase II involved implementation of various site refinements and scaling the features and content. We determined that a component-based, responsive Drupal website with various new content types and a new navigational and tagging structure would give the organization an ideal platform for presenting content. This would lead visitors from inspirational articles, videos and photographs depicting store offerings to bookings and utilization of savings vouchers. Portuguese and Spanish iterations of the new site, continuously fleshed out with translations of fresh content, would grow site visitation from Brazil and Latin American countries.
SITE WIREFRAME & FUNCTIONALITY
(showing highlighted component elements)
DESIGN & EXECUTION
The new website employs a buoyant, friendly tone and a vibrant color palette that evokes both the parent brand and the joyous, memory-making experiences associated with Macy’s events. The primary color palette pulls from the Macy's brand kit, while adding additional neutral colors to balance out the weight of Macy's signature bright red. The designs of the header, carousel, side image and 3-up content block elements were inspired by price tags found on all Macy's merchandise, and nod to the brand as a shopping destination.
NOT JUST A PRETTY DESIGN
The new design isn't just visually pleasing. Various types of content related by interest and location are easy for the user to discover, maximizing movement through the site, and keeping crucial site bounce rates low. The component-based layout, content types and tagging structure give content creators the flexibility to mix and match elements to present different types of initiatives, associate them with the cities and stores that offer them and tell stories in the best possible way. They also let content creators scale the content and functionality over time. This translates to less time spent generating and editing posts and articles that keep site content fresh and appropriate for each season. A new navigation reflects Visit Macy’s mission by presenting Macy’s as a centerpiece of iconic American cities that helps users access the attractions they offer. Specific stores are downplayed in favor of city pages featuring various stores that together shape a guide to their destination city. A map feature allows users to still access the specific content of the stores for detailed information, while keeping all of Macy’s available amenities city-centered.
The rebuilt site presents Visit Macy’s as visually engaging, uncluttered and fun—much like the stores and city destinations that are promoted within. Since the launch of the site in February 2018, domestic and international visitors significantly increased and with the addition of booking functionality for store experiences, conversions have also ramped up.