I recently read how Nordstrom is putting the customer first by shaking up their traditional business model. They are opening a smaller concept store, Nordstrom Local, approximately just 2 percent of the average size of its retail store, which combines best practices in customer engagement, content marketing, and physical and digital experiences – without their typical inventory. That’s correct – a clothing store with essentially no clothes. Instead, free shopping consultants will provide consumers with highly-personalized, customized clothing recommendations and a few samples to try on – making the experience all about them. Nordstrom Local will offer same-day pick up for online orders or same-day delivery, combining the best of physical and digital.
What supports this cool concept is that Nordstrom understands what is important to their customers and they are finding a unique way to fit into their daily lives. They are catering to customer preferences, making a task easier and less time consuming, and differentiating themselves in a market that has legendary brick-and-mortar stores closing at an alarming rate. Putting the customer first continues to pay off.
I find it fascinating to see how brands execute their “put the customer first” strategy to increase market and wallet share. The ones that get it are not only listening to their customers, they are also anticipating their needs and creating a seamless connection across all channels. This is particularly important as we see more physical and digital fusion, like the “non-clothing” clothing experience of Nordstrom Local. When done right, the consumer doesn’t have to think about the various communication channels but, instead, experiences overall synergy with the brand.
And this is where my two worlds collide: I am a consumer that also happens to lead digital business development for an organization that delivers omni-channel customer communications on behalf of many recognizable logos. We deliver 5 billion communications a year across print and digital channels, like Google Drive, Amazon Drive and online banking platforms, reaching 8 out of 10 North American households. (If you check your mailbox, inbox or bank’s website, chances are my company helped that document reach you.)
How can your company reinvent itself? Start by knowing where you fit in your customers’ lives and then own it.