Nordstrom Launches ‘Reserve and Try in Store’ Capabilities

by Grace Miller |

Nordstrom Launches ‘Reserve and Try in Store’ Capabilities

reserve and try in store

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!

Nordstrom’s Loyalty Program: A Marketing Success

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There is an old business wisdom that acts as a pure guiding principle to all marketing and strategic plans: listen to your customer. Even if their opinions may not demand an immediate action, but those opinions will tell you about what they think and what they expect from you as a retailer. That’s what Nordstrom did this past May when it launched expanded Nordstrom Rewards in stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Erik Nordstrom, the co-president of Nordstrom, has said that his customers, particularly the non-card holders, wanted more flexibility in a reward system. The business paid heed to their customers, and the updated version of Nordstrom’s loyalty program has seen spectacular results.

Previously, Nordstrom’s loyalty marketing solution was only open to customers who held a Nordstrom credit card. This was a high barrier to signups, especially in light of how many millennials avoid signing up for credit cards. The new rules for Nordstrom’s loyalty program dictate that non-credit cardholders earn one point per dollar spent. Cardholders get double the rewards, plus perks like early sale access, private shopping parties, free alterations, and more. After collecting 2000 points, members get a $20 Nordstrom Note to spend on anything at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack or HauteLook.

After looking at the success that this program has brought, one has to say that flexibility has worked for Nordstrom. Within just three months, the program has seen the addition of 1.7 million new loyalty enrollments.  The company now has approximately 6 million active Rewards customers as of Q2 2016, up nearly 30% from 4.7 million in the prior quarter. Of course, Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, which took place during the quarter, played a huge role in uplifting the enrollment in the loyalty program. But crediting its successes solely to the Anniversary Sale will be like under analyzing it.

The program almost diminished the barrier of sign up, which is still considered a necessary evil. It uses mobile phone numbers as identifiers instead of email. The time required for the traditionally dreaded process of sign up is minuscule. Similarly, the same mobile number enables members to earn points on purchases and redeem any accumulated $20 Nordstrom Notes. Here’s a video that the department store released explaining their updated program.

Despite this awe arousing and resounding success, Nordstrom is in no mood to become complacent. The initiatives of including new mobile features, improvements to the website, and enhanced selling tools have already begun. This fall may see the launch of its mobile feature that allows customers to reserve merchandise online. With changes like this, Nordstrom’s loyalty program is well on its way to its goal of 5 million sign-ups in the first year.

Tip: 75% of US companies with online loyalty programs generate a positive return on investment.

New Nordstrom Loyalty Program Launches

new nordstrom loyalty program launches

In the wake of a disappointing quarter, Nordstrom is set to launch an expanded loyalty program on May 18. The updated Nordstrom loyalty program–dubbed Nordstrom Rewards–will allow all customers to accrue points with or without a Nordstrom credit card. It looks like the new Nordstrom loyalty program will still exclusively consist of points for purchases, … Read more

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The holidays are a time to give back and reflect on what went right (um, and wrong) this year. During this convivial time, we’d like to take a minute to appreciate the ways in which companies gave back to customers via brand advocacy and customer loyalty this year.  The reward of doing so isn’t just … Read more

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