Friday, February 02, 2007

Nordstrom Gets It. (DUH!)

Ever shopped at a Nordstrom? It is amazing. The customer experience is second to none. Their online experience has been good too, but they've been through the typical trials and tribulations of growing a direct e-business (first a stand alone company, then integrated, then... a hybrid) and they've also been like other major retailers and invested in "ecommerce systems" and processes as stand alone entities.

Well... now that they've got this significant direct business that continues to grow, they have taken the bold step to re-tool their core capabilities to become a truly multi-channel retailer. One inventory of products, accessible from anyone in their chain (store,phone, online). No "I can't get to that" or... "that's not in my system" any more. The story in the February Internet Retailer talks a bit about what they're doing but essentially, they've standardized on the Oracle Retailing Suite, are going to do away with redundant systems and inventories... and are going to integrate into their very DNA the notion that the Nordstrom brand is ONE BRAND; with seamless access to that brand from where ever their customer needs it.

They get it. They know that you can charge MORE for a positive customer experience. The way they used to do that is have MORE EMPLOYEES on the sales floor. Today's way of achieving that positive customer experience is simple: a superiorly integrated shopping experience.

Kudos to Jamie Nordstrom and the gang out in Seattle for having the guts to do it right.

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