How Nordstrom Wants You To Browse In Store And Buy Online
Usually, retailers will do anything to combat showrooming: browsing items in store offline, and buying them online from a different retailer. Nordstrom, the American fashion retailer, is doing quite the opposite these days.
Nordstrom is working with Blue Nile, “the largest online retailer of certified diamonds and fine jewelry” that is Seattle-based. Nordstrom opened a Blue Nile counter and display last month in the Wedding Suite in its Seattle store.
Customers can view over 75 wedding rings and 40 wedding bands in the display. A Blue Nile representative is there to help create custom wedding rings and answer any question a customer might have, with the help of an iPad.
So how is this different from any other store-in-a-store concept? Well, for one, you can’t any Blue Nile jewelry in the store itself. Once you pick a ring, you can only buy it in the Blue Nile online store. What else? Nordstrom has a jewelry department of its own, so Blue Nile is basically a direct competitor.
So why are both parties interested in showrooming?
Shea Jensen, national weddings director at Nordstrom says:
“For us, the most exciting thing is the opportunity to meet new customers and introduce them to the Wedding Suite.”
For Blue Nile, a spokesperson said:
“This is about seeing it, trying it on and generating interest for future purchases.”
Of course, it is a deal in which Nordstrom gets paid by Blue Nile for the space used. But, is this the future of shopping?
I say it’s a match made in heaven. People still love going to stores and being able to physically see the products they are buying.
On the other hand, e-commerce can’t be ignored any longer by these retailers. Giving people the opportunity to see the products and directly buying them online in the stores, is perfect.
Pretty smart of Nordstrom too to make a deal with a direct competitor, and get Blue Nile’s customers to come to them as well.
I’m curious to see how this pilot works out, and if it will be expanded to 17 Nordstrom stores in the US.
What About You?
What do you think of Nordstrom and Blue Nile’s initiative? Do you think it will get both stores a bigger customer base?
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