Nordstrom: How to Succeed by Selling Just One Shoe
Nordstrom, Inc. is the famous retailer that does the business under the domain of fashion and current trends. Nordstrom started its journey from 1901 in the United States of America; the first outlet was the shoe store that reached the pinnacle of popularity because of quality and good customer services. Nordstrom, Inc is also reaping the benefit of online business and E-commerce such as in the shape of online transaction facilities to the customers. ("Nordstrom," 2010)
Although Nordstrom is reaping the benefit of steady growth but the rivalry especially after arrival the dot.com arena that is the key catalyst to further intense the borderless rivalry, is really the barriers for Nordstrom and its future growth.
Nordstrom's level of services, its type and the characteristic that its shares with other retailers.Nordstrom, Inc’s level of services is the topnotch and that level of services acts a shelter against the rivalry. Nordstrom, Inc is providing versatile customer services as other renowned retailers have such as Whole Foods Market and the Ethel’s Chocolate Lounges.
All above entities have almost the same characteristics in providing the facility, gaining and retaining the customer confidence as well as maintaining and enhancing the good and long lasting relationships with their existing and prospects clienteles by announcing different offers and schemes.
The level of services that the Nordstrom is providing is outstanding as described in case study, “Patrick McCarthy, who was the first salesperson to generate $1 million, cites an example of a customer who was traveling and accidentally left his plane tickets in the store. An employee who found them paid for a cab to the airport with her own money so that the customer wouldn’t miss his plane. This, McCarthy says, is an example of “heroic service,” and at Nordstrom they expect nothing less.” That service level is the absolute example of providing full customer service that is delivered. Furthermore, its personal stylist service that makes it unique from its rivals and that is the key catalyst to retain and enhance the clientele.
Nordstrom's level of service
As far as the question of comparison is concerned, here it should be remembered that it is being discussed about the customer service and nature of products not the type of products. Therefore, If Nordstrom's service is compared with the whole food market in the perspective of consumer goods. The key difference that seems lack in whole food market is its customer services.
In the entire food market, there is no any chance to have meeting with the real producers while as far as the Nordstrom's stylist service is concerned, it is the ideal opportunity to have thorough discussion and meeting with proper appointments facility. Nordstrom's stylist service not only provides the facility of customized customer services but also the opportunity to have useful discussion with the professionals.
As far as the retailing mix is concerned, in the perspective of customer services that Nordstrom Inc. is providing to their clientele, following are the particular discussion about those:
Lior Arussy, an Industry observer pronounced the Nordstrom’s business policy as “greed through love.” He expressed his observation in that words “Nordstrom have perfected the art of focusing on the right customers and giving them undivided attention.”
Tailored Customer Care
Nordstrom is famous because of its nurturing habit. Its personal stylist offer is such innovative that give the new shape to the customer service domain. This offer has the flexibility to customize your choices according to the budget. It offers professional consultancy according to the occasions and budget. Personal stylist shops for you in different department to satisfy your need with gift offering without any extra charges.
Nordstrom is also famous because of its generous exchange policy. “In a familiar story that has been forwarded around the Internet for years, a man claims he was allowed to return snow tires, even though the store never sold auto parts. It may be an urban myth, but it reinforces the company’s reputation for putting customers first. Even though the company loses some money on returns, they believe it’s worth it to keep customers coming back.” (About Nordstorm, 2011)
Customers Services & Relationship
The Store has the long and interesting stories to build a healthy relationship with the customers such as their salespersons has special skills to build and continue the relationship for years. “Robert Spector, coauthor of The Nordstrom Way, says his favorite story is of a woman with one leg who jokingly bet a Nordstrom salesperson that he wouldn’t sell her just one shoe.
He was more than happy to split up the pair, though, to her surprise, and Nordstrom gained a life-long customer in the process. “Who knows how many times she’s told that story?” Spector asks. “Do you think that that’s worth the price of a shoe? I do.” This kind of word-of-mouth publicity means that Nordstrom spends much less on traditional advertising than its competitors do. And the stories told by satisfied customers are much more persuasive than an ad in the Sunday paper.”
The Nordstrom has the proper consultancy and advisory services that give it the edge against it rivals. For this purpose Nordstrom sets future shopping dates, inform the customers about the new arrivals. “It’s a heart experience,” says McCarthy, who kept handwritten notes on all 12,000 of his personal customers over the years. “Most companies are head experiences bean counters are running them. When the heart is running them, it becomes exciting.”
Their online system gave it the new shape and flexibility to the customers to shop in convenient style with saving money and time. At the result, this facility pushed the Nordstrom profit to another mile with happy clientele. ("Retailing in focus," 2010)
Every business has to face the different challenges and the capability to face and fight against these challenges is the catalyst that defines or redefines any particular business life. Therefore, the primary challenge that is being faced by the Nordstrom is numerous but to be precise here I would like to discuss about the key factor that may cause to disturb the whole reputation.
This factor is the Nordstrom’s online shopping feature. According to the observations, the customers who did online purchasing and transactions, most of the time they are unable to find that particular product inside the brick and mortar premises. According to my viewpoint it is the most critical element that may disturb the whole clientele’s confidence and trust.
Competition & Consumer expectations
The rivalry and the E-Commerce phenomenon that placed and opened the whole global market in front of customer is the catalyst that is keeps increasing the consumer expectations. According to the Nordstrom direct President Jamie Nordstrom,” We see the way people shop changing very dramatically”. The key reason of dynamistic in competition is the arrival of online facility and shopping opportunities that provide the ease to customers to easily analyze and compare the prices and products with different stores on just a click away. On the other side this online flexibility is the big challenge for Nordstrom to stand still in the current highly tidal waves of rivalry.
This trend is also changing the customer expectations about the product prices, variety and flexibility to have these, now the customer wants more customized solutions according to their needs and demand that could be ideally suited to their budget and preferences. Therefore, the dot.com arena is the big cause to intensify the Competition & Consumer expectations. ("The state of," 2010)
In conclusion, it would like to be concluded that one thing in obvious that has the principal role of business success that is the customer trust and satisfactions that maintain and enhance the business. The online transaction facilities that further intense the competition must be address and managed properly because in current dynamic competitive business environment no firm could be succeeded without customer trust and satisfactions because these elements convince the customer to change or not to change their preferences. However, the dot.com boom is the key catalyst to further ignite the flame of rivalry but on the other hand it is the channel to further expand the business without the physical limitation of borders and economies. Therefore, the benefit of E-commerce should be taken as the energizer to further strengthen the business and increase the profits.