Macy's updates app to sort items by proximity

While many retailers are optimizing their mobile strategies to improve the in-store shopping experience, the latest update at Macy's (NYSE:M) seems to capitalize more on consumers ready to make a purchase on their device.

The biggest new feature is the option to sort products by what is available at nearby stores. This allows mobile shoppers to make their purchase digitally and pick the item up in-store, something they could previously do only on the website.

The retailer first introduced its click-and-collect program to 500 Macy's stores and 36 Bloomingdale's locations in fall 2013. The initiative has performed very well, leading the chain to expand the service, giving even more mobile shoppers the option to complete their transaction on the go before dropping by the store.

Macy's also announced that the session time in its app has been extended to six hours, allowing shoppers to stay signed in for longer without having to re-enter their info. The update is one the retailer says customers have been calling for, and reflects the growing willingness of consumers to spend extended periods of time shopping via mobile devices. It's also indicative of the way shoppers are using mobile to researching items at home or in-store for short periods of time before making a purchase later.

Finally, the app now includes an index of all brands, making it faster and easier to navigate to particular products consumers might have an eye on.

The new app features are just the latest of Macys' efforts to focus more on its omnichannel retail strategy. Earlier this year the retailer announced plans to close 14 stores and cut jobs this spring to better focus on its click-and-collect and ship-from-store initiatives. The company also launched its own digital wallet last year, and in November debuted an app that allowed shoppers to take photos of outfits they like and find similar clothing for sale from Macy's.

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