Kohl’s Updates Omnichannel Offerings In Advance Of Holiday Shopping Season

Mobile payments, an app redesign connected to in-store promotions, and an ‘omnichannel shopping bag’ are just a few of the planned features.

Department store chain Kohl’s is refocusing its omnichannel strategy with a range of mobile and app-based in-store features in a bid to tie the company’s digital and physical operations together in a coherent way with the promise of making store items easier to find and pay for.

First, Kohl’s is implementing a “Store Mode” for its mobile app. While shopping at a Kohl’s location, customers can turn on store mode to both receive in-store promotions and search inventory through their phones.

The chain is also reworking its in-store POS and app to accept both Apple Pay and Visa Checkout. Users can also add a Kohl’s credit card as a usable card in Apple Pay, viable only at Kohl’s locations. The app’s whole mobile wallet is also being overhauled and will allow users to scan gift cards and coupons to be saved to the app and easily redeemed in-store off their phones.MK-BM028_KOHLS_G_20110512201002

Other features include an “omnichannel shopping bag,” enabling users to add items to a single shopping cart accessible on any tablet, mobile device, or on desktop. It also allows for online ordering and in-store pick up.

Additionally, Kohl’s is testing same-day delivery in some markets, a field that has mostly been dominated by companies like Amazon before but could see a rise in popularity soon. A survey released this week by Coldwell Banker found that 64 percent of Millennials say they are more likely to make a purchase online if they can get it the same day. Meanwhile, their older counterparts are little more patient, as the survey  indicated that 56 percent of Gen Xers and 40 percent for Baby Boomers would be more apt to use a retailer’s e-commerce channel if the items could be sent to them within 24 hours.

While the “omnichannel” buzzword is now pretty much accepted by all mainstream retailers, this recognition of giving digital shoppers online-to-offline purchasing choices follows the relaunch of Kohl’s mobile app last year.

“Since the re-launch of Kohl’s mobile app in fall 2014, the app has seen more than eight million downloads and has gone from a half star rating to a four and a half star rating,” Kohl’s said in a statement. “Kohl’s also launched an app for Apple Watch earlier this spring, offering easy access to Kohl’s savings offers including Kohl’s coupons, Yes2You Rewards and Kohl’s Cash.”

While Kohl’s plans to transform the store are robust, they are also necessary, as plenty of retailers are looking to omnichannel in the never ending quest to bring more consumers in-store. Target recently launched its “Retail Accelerator” program to develop new retail technologies in the omnichannel field, along with accepting Apple Pay and testing out beacons in some of its stores. Meanwhile, JC Penny’s has created a specialized omnichannel department and Macy’s is focusing on Google’s concept of the “micro-moment.

“Our digital teams are continually testing new ideas and capabilities to create a world-class omnichannel experience that is seamless across devices,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, chief executive officer and president.  “With each evolution, we aim to elevate our offerings for an easy, inspiring shopping experience.”

About The Author
Daniel Parisi Daniel Parisi @daniel_parisi_

Daniel Parisi is a New York City-based writer and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Daniel specializes in coverage of mobile payments, loyalty programs, and the Internet of Things.