Retail & Ecommerce 

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s

Unite the ecommerce and in-store experiences. 

a collection of Macy's inc. digital experiences


Founded in 1858, Macy’s is one of the largest and most iconic department store chains in the US. With 500+ stores and its ecommerce site, it’s able to offer affordable apparel, home goods, beauty products, and accessories to customers around the globe. It’s also the owner of Bloomingdale’s, a luxury department store chain with 50+ stores across the US.

We partnered with Macy’s to help the brand meet increased demand for online apparel, accessories, and home goods purchases. Our work designing 10+ digital products included:

  • Unifying the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s app experiences
  • Enhancing call center software
  • Finding safe ways for shoppers to collect online purchases in person
  • Creating a new way for work colleagues to manage team wedding and baby registries

Aside from product innovation design, design systems, and operations, we also established and spread an improved design culture by hosting meetings and workshops, coordinating design projects from disparate teams, and fostering an environment of design thinking across the organization. 

What We Did

  • Innovation workshops and training
  • Store-focused user research program
  • Multi-platform designs (mobile, desktop, digital signage)
  • Cross-platform associate devices (desktop, POS, mobile sled, multi-screen)
  • Design system aligned across consumer and associate digital products
  • Theming methods for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s design systems
  • Visual and strategic alignment across 10+ digital products
  • Web application designs
  • Call-center software



customer and associate interviews


unified digital experience for Macy's and Bloomingdale's


Atomic Design system to maintain consistency and allow for innovation

I worked with Variate on multiple projects over the last six years. The Variate team consistently delivers thoughtful solutions and especially shines when designing complex projects and new systems to align the overall experience.

Mariana Cavalcanti

VP, Digital User Experience


3 Big Takeaways

  1. Let the customer journey lead the way
  2. Start with the product that has the most opportunity
  3. Design a flexible framework that allows for branding


Think big. And plan.

Macy's internal design leadership had innovative and ambitious plans for how to bring together a multitude of different platforms. We helped define that future vision by assessing legacy and current systems and then creating a multi-phase, multi-year plan addressing culture, systems, and communication.

two Macy's registry dashboards on tablets
a profile page on a Macy's registry dashboard


Systems thinking leads to better, faster development

In order to meet aggressive timelines for upgrading a legacy system and designing a new one, we began with the former, documenting and identifying potential optimizations for multiple platforms. We then created a 2.0 framework for all new products, helping development teams save time and gracefully sunset older systems. 

a suite of products for Macy's call center employees
a workflow for a Macy's call center employee
Mobile designs for Macy's in-store employees
more mobile designs for Macy's in-store employees
a rule builder for Macy's return policies
a dashboard for Macy's return policies


Prototype, test, iterate, repeat

Internal software is often deprioritized when it comes to spending, and our team aimed to prove future efficacies and justify investments for several internal systems. We developed a new program of rapid prototyping, user testing, and design iteration that proved potential savings and revenue increases for new features and digital products. 

a design system for Macy's

See how else we support the retail & ecommerce industry.

Pick another case study