Combining the Art and Science of Retail: JC Penney’s Digital Evolution
Omnichannel Evolution: From Magazine Catalog to Online Catalog
JCPenney was once one of the most influential catalog retailers and an original omnichannel retailer. JCPenney’s efforts to evolve the brick and mortar business has the company advancing omnichannel execution.The introduction of the digital age has provided JCPenney an incentive to create a more sophisticated and modern view of this catalog. The evolution of the catalog is connecting with customers on how, when, and where they prefer to shop.
According to JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison, the company has “developed true omnichannel capabilities” by advancing the brick and mortar store. JCPenney’s omnichannel strategy focuses around the creation of a successful mobile app and the implementation of a buy-online-pick-up-in-store method. Let’s look at each part of JCPenney’s strategy and how these elements are helping JCPenney’s digital expansion.
As part of JCPenney’s evolution, the company has focused largely on created a user-friendly mobile application, taking advantage of the massive growth of mobile channels. The JCPenney app features a sleek design and easy to navigate interface which connects to each shopper’s personal account. The JCPenney app is designed to connect the digital and in-store experience, as seen in the image above. Consequently, the user base rates the app at 4.5 stars, with over one million users.
The app is a single mobile hub, facilitating online shopping at the customers’ fingertips. As a result, JCPenney creation of a mobile app has allowed them to connect with digitally savvy customers. JCPenney’s app helps shoppers locate items in stores, apply coupons, and also access their JCPenney Rewards. The app customizes to each shopper’s account, personalizing the app based on browsing history, purchase history, and even location. Customers can also make purchases based on what is available in nearby store locations and can even check available inventory. Consequently, the user base rates the app at 4.5 stars, with over one million users. The evolution of the brick and mortar store to include a mobile platform maintains a personalized omnichannel experience.
Buy Online pick up in store
JCPenney is also powering their omnichannel experience with the introduction of buy-online-pick-up-in-store option, also known as BOPUS. BOPUS allows shoppers to complete online and mobile purchases with a variety of pick-up options. BOPUS is available in all 1,000 physical locations and synchronizes with the location capability on the mobile app and online platform. Shoppers can make purchases based on the online catalog or available inventory in select locations. The shoppers can even choose which kind of pick up option they would like.
The shipping options include shipping to any location, same day pickup, and fast home delivery. JCPenney has a history of operating through catalog service desks. The direction towards digital catalog enhancement makes JCPenney is one of the biggest retailers to offer online orders to be shipped to any of its 1,000 locations. JCPenney’s successful blend of online retail and in-store pick up has evolved the purpose and functionality of the brick and mortar store.
The BOPUS option that JCPenney provides has also expanded the consumer market. Shoppers who come in to pick up orders have a higher attachment rate. A high attachment rate means shoppers are more likely to buy an additional item in-store when picking up an online order. Because of the integration of the digital and physical market through omnichannel, JCPenney is seeing greater returns .
JCPenney has implemented new omnichannel tactics to bring their catalog into the digital age. By marrying the physical and online experience, they have successfully rejuvenated their customer journey. JCPenney plans to continue their evolution through next year with the replacement of point-of-sale units with mobile devices. It will be exciting to see how JCPenney further develops through 2017.