Nordstrom Launches ‘Reserve and Try in Store’ Capabilities

by Grace Miller |

Seattle-based department store chain Nordstrom has had a mixed 2016. While its loyalty program has done quite well, and its discount brand Nordstrom Rack has been strong, this year has seen weak Nordstrom profits and plenty of cost-cutting measures. It makes sense, then, that the company is trying hard to differentiate itself with quality customer service and an experience that will, hopefully, increase upsell opportunities in stores. It just launched a ‘reserve and try in store’ feature on its mobile app. This reserve and try in store capability, which Nordstrom has dubbed Reserve & Try,

This reserve and try in store capability, which Nordstrom has dubbed Reserve & Try, works using another somewhat new Nordstrom app feature called Store Mode. When shoppers are on the app, they can toggle to Store Mode to see what’s available at a particular store. Then can then select a certain item, select to reserve and try in store, fill in their contact information, and confirm the reservation.

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Within two hours, the store notifies the shopper via text message that the items have been found. Then, the shopper visits a new department called Order Pickup, where they’ll find their name on the door of a pre-set fitting room, with their reserve and try in store items inside. Users can reserve up to ten items, and they’re held until the store closes the next day.

Reserve & Try is currently only available to customers in Western Washington, including its flagship store. If the pilot program goes well, however, we expect to see it roll out to other locations. The reserve and try in store feature’s launch comes only a few weeks after the entrance of new CEO Ken Worzel, who took the helm in late September. His promotion was largely considered to be a move towards boosting the retailer’s e-commerce performance.

Indeed, the reserve and try in store method should help address those hesitant online shoppers who don’t want to waste time, effort, and/or money buying clothing online that might not look great on them. We have two questions about this tactic, though:

  • Are there enough hesitant shoppers in Nordstrom’s audience that reserve and try in store will really make a difference?
  • What are the demographics of these shoppers? Reserve & Try might only have an effect on older consumers, which would make it a shorter-term fix at best.

For more insights about Nordstrom, check out our coverage of their loyalty program launch and its success so far! And don’t forget to check out our just-published Social Login FAQs and Ratings and Reviews FAQs sheets, written by our Customer Success Team!

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