Nordstrom Focuses on Mobile Customer Experience

In 2014, technology investments will account for more than 30% of Nordstrom's CapEx investment plan, up from roughly 20% in previous years. The retailer is also refreshing stores more efficiently by letting the customer experience – rather than the age of the store – drive the process. To keep pace with the ongoing evolution of retail Nordstrom is also adjusting its investments to better support its multi-channel growth strategy and achieve greater mobile execution.
It's very clear that advancements in technology, specifically in e-commerce and mobile, are redefining the customer experience across all channels. "The pace of change is accelerating faster than we anticipated a year ago," said Blake Nordstrom, president and principal executive officer of Nordstrom.
The retailer expects its online business to remain its fastest-growing channel, generating significant growth and returns. To continue elevating the customer experience online and on mobile, the retailer will invest in its technology platform, fulfillment capabilities and personalization.
"With estimates of nearly 200 million mobile devices in the U.S. today, they rapidly have become an integral part of consumers' everyday lives," noted Nordstrom. "It strongly validates the strategic path we embarked on nearly a decade ago in laying the foundation by making investments to provide a differentiated customer experience in a multichannel environment."
The retailer has been rolling out mobile devices, including tablets to make its POS completely mobile. This gives more functionality and security with customer information. While these channels present various operating dynamics, Nordstrom's loyalty program, marketing and technology, will create a customer experience that leverages all channels. Mobile is increasing the amount of traffic, so the retailer is investing a lot to guarantee a positive mobile experience.
"You're going to see some pretty big improvements to our mobile site that we'll be rolling out later this spring," commented James Nordstrom, EVP and president of Nordstrom Direct. "And yes, we've been learning a lot through our off-price business in terms of how customers want to use their phones to shop. We're putting a lot of those ideas to work, and we're pretty encouraged by a lot of those investments so far."
"I think we have to be cautious in that things are changing. There's a lot of newness that keeps coming out and our line of sight in that world is really only roughly a two to three year period," said Nordstrom EVP and CFO Michael Koppel. "To say that we're going to reach a peak and then it's going to stop, I think, would be misleading on our part."
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