Department store brand Macy's has set its sights on making holiday shopping easier this year by enabling its customers to scan and shop with their mobile devices.
In order to do so, the brand has integrated visual recognition technology into its Star Gifts app, which lets mobile shoppers scan specially marked items for additional information, as well as to purchase them.
This visual recognition technology, iD, comes from NantMobile, which says it seeks to "apply state-of-art sensory technologies to the mobile environment, to build a richer day-to-day experience for consumers."
To use the app, mobile customers simply need to look for the Star Gifts icons in Macy's promotions and then scan the catalog, magazine ad or outdoor billboard.
In turn, Macy's says it will deliver mobile access to product information, gift-giving assistance and "much more."
Per iTunes and Google Play, that also includes videos.
Macy's says the app "will be used to deliver content that will help inspire, entertain and assist in the creation and fine-tuning of holiday gift lists," including advice from lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly.
In addition, users will be able to shop directly from the app for the "must-have Macy's Star Gift items of the season."
From November 17, shoppers can also scan the first page of the Star Gifts catalog to receive a $10 Macy's mobile gift code.
According to Macy's, throughout the holiday season, visual recognition technology will be available on its gift advertising found in public spaces like subway stations, digital billboards, bus shelters, windowscapes and magazines and additional catalogs.
"This marks a first-of-its kind use of iD's visual recognition technology to deliver a seamless experience across national catalogs, print and outdoor advertising," Macy's says.
The brand says it is "once again at the forefront of mobile-enhanced shopping that will cater to the growing tech-savvy consumer segment, while simultaneously launching the next generation of express gifting on the go."
Macy's reps did not respond to a request for comment.
However, in a prepared statement, chief marketing officer Martine Reardon said, "This new application of technology will assist us in delivering helpful and relevant content to mobile shoppers while at the same time providing them with the opportunity to get their holiday shopping done with ease."
According to Google Play, the app has an average rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars in 47 reviews and has been installed 10,000 to 50,000 times.
The current version of the app has about 2.5 stars in 19 ratings on iTunes.
Macy's says it operates approximately 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014