TextStyle remembers your purchases and credit card info, yeah!
Nordstrom wants to innovate the way customers shop for shoes, clothing, and other products. The high-end retailer recently released TextStyle, an app that allows customers to chat with in-store sales associates from Nordstrom and to receive photographs of recommended products.
TextStyle customers can then purchase items by texting a simple code linked to their payment and shipping information already on file. This new technology is a creative and potentially profitable combination of personal assistant type SMS services with highly personalized ecommerce apps that track customer preferences to make relevant product recommendations.
TextStyle is just one example of Nordstrom’s recent revamp of its approach to innovation
In 2010, Nordstrom became one of the first retailers of its kind to set up a technologies lab to design new products and business models. When the lab started, there were several tech experts working in IT, but their work wasn’t well integrated with other departments working on business models and customer service. More recently, Nordstrom began hiring senior executives with a triple-threat combination of expertise in customer service, sales, and technology, and began moving some of its executives from its central technology lab into other business working groups. According to CIO Dan Little, this new configuration “works better because we have a broader intake of new ideas from both business and technology teams, rather than just having the tech team looking.”
This new arrangement, and technologies like TextStyle, have helped foster a better understanding of Nordstrom customers, and has fostered relationships between sales associates and the customers they serve. This feedback from customers is essential, according to Steve Hill, vice chair of strategic investments and innovation at KPMG LLP. He says that “unless you have real people who can spend real money on your real project, it’s useless.” TextStyle provides not only a quick and fun way for Nordstrom customers to shop, but also helps Nordstrom to have constant feedback and data from its best customers.
How to use TextStyle
- Customers using their NEXT texting account opt-in to use TextStyle.
- Using TextStyle, a customer or salesperson sends a private text message with a description or photo of a product.
- If the customer likes any of the recommended items, they can purchase by simply replying “buy” plus a unique code.
- The purchase is completed using the customer’s Nordstrom.com account information.
- Items ship directly to the customer with Nordstrom free standard delivery.