Macy’s Directs Millennial Traffic with TIBCO Cloud API Management
Easy innovations for mobile buys, increased conversions, just-right scaling
"Macy's overarching business goals are centered around a famous quote from our first woman executive, Margaret Getchell, "Be everywhere, do everything, and never fail to astonish the customer," says David Moyer, head of API Management at macys.com. "If we do that, the rest of it will come naturally—amazing sales and a great digital marketplace where people want to come and purchase products.
"Macy's launched its website in 1998, when mobile wasn’t even really in existence. The first smartphones started to become popular around 2007. Until about 2013, desktop traffic surpassed mobile. When we saw that big increase in mobile traffic, the writing was on the wall. We needed to prepare for a great mobile experience. We already had the architecture that our mobile experience was relying heavily on it, but at that time, people were running on a 3G, not a 4G network, especially in more rural areas. The mobile site was less frequented because it wasn't optimized. We needed to scale those services, optimize them, and get the right data caching strategy to provide a better mobile experience.
"If these issues were not resolved, the impact would be dissatisfied customers, which brings down the brand identity, decreases sales, and causes higher customer turnover."
"To help gain additional market share and awareness, our technology objectives were to develop the most innovative mobile application features geared for the millennial market, integrate with social networks—and add one of the great examples I love to talk about, image search.
"We really wanted to build a lightweight API using the most modern, high-speed RESTful services to get data to our customers quickly so they could find what they needed right away. We needed an API management solution that would allow us to view what customers were doing with our APIs. We needed to quickly get documentation out to our developer community. We wanted some interactivity so people could engage with the APIs on the site. We also wanted quick and easy reporting, great monitoring, and an added layer of security using keys.
"After integrating and leveraging TIBCO Cloud API Management (formerly TIBCO Cloud Mashery) to meet our initial needs, TIBCO Professional Services really made it fast and easy for us to adopt a new product that would bring us to the next level, TIBCO Cloud API Management - Local Edition, which sits behind our firewall."
Fast, optimized, mobile services
“Macy's APIs are at the center of our business, and using TIBCO Cloud API Management, they serve a lot of internal applications. Applications are able to serve customers a lot faster, provide recommendations, and minimize the amount of time it takes to do that.
"Our mobile enhanced web, which has the highest traffic, is where customers are spending most of their time purchasing products. To have a great customer experience, we want to make sure our APIs are optimized. One of the ways you do that is to eliminate hops between systems, especially when the origin server sits behind the same firewall. Because Macy's has a lot of brick and mortar stores, we have digital in-store devices that are being served via APIs. Now, instead of going outside the firewall, coming back through it, and then back out again, traffic is just going straight to TIBCO Cloud API Management and getting responses a lot faster."
Easy innovations, increased conversions
"APIs have made it easy for our internal developers to spin up new products that are serving the millennial market. For instance, we launched image search within the IOS app, where you can just take a quick picture of something someone is wearing, and it will find that product at Macy's. Then you can easily and quickly purchase it within the app.
"One of our newest APIs makes the checkout experience a lot faster and easier and has actually increased the conversion rate."
Just-right scaling and business success
"Holidays are the biggest time for sales, and we have to make sure we're able to scale for those increased API calls. TIBCO Cloud API Management reports have been crucial in preparing for the right amount of servers to handle the traffic, which is critical for our business. Over the last couple of years, we've actually seen this trend where Black Friday sales traffic ends up being the next year's normal level of traffic. We’re able to plan for that with the reporting within the TIBCO Cloud API Management dashboard.
"Macy's is going to heavily leverage APIs. We're building new, innovative ways to capture the millennial market. It's going to allow us to grow our internal applications, which are capturing and wowing customers, and reach out to third parties—to be everywhere, do everything, and delight customers."