Brief description of diving:
Nordstrom launched a “Stylist Ambassador” program, enlisting store stylists from each of its 20 largest markets, which includes cities in the US and Canada.
The stylists will work as influencers, helping to “bring the Nordstrom experience to life in a variety of ways, including social media, events,” media opportunities and other channels, according to a company blog post.
Nordstrom’s top 20 markets are Los Angeles; New York; Chicago; Dallas; San Francisco; Boston; Philadelphia; Seattle; Toronto; Washington, DC (including Baltimore); Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Miami; Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; San Diego and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Insight into diving:
Last year, Nordstrom finally ended its long-running clothing subscription Trunk Club, a Stitch Fix-like service where customers would sign up to receive a box of clothes curated by a combination of algorithms and human stylists. But even then, CEO Erik Nordstrom said the retailer will expand its styling services to include more virtual touch points.
Nordstrom sought to clarify that the retailer is aware of how much stylists can influence sales. Customers who contact a stylist, online or in-store, spend seven times more and report higher levels of satisfaction, he told analysts in May. As a result, the company is investing in styling, ranging from what Nordstrom called “no-touch clothing inspiration through our digital channels to an intense and personalized relationship with the stylist.”
That low touch can still be powerful, according to Deb Gabor, CEO and founder of Sol Marketing. She praised the diversity of the first group of stylists, as seen in a video provided by Nordstrom, and said the campaign as a whole fits with her recommendation that retailers and brands bring “authentic human connections to the customer experience.”
“The combined approach of personalization and localization allows consumers to leverage a high degree of market knowledge and can empower shoppers to deepen their relationships with Nordstrom, which is powered by real people,” Gabor said via email. “Nordstrom can extend its brand value through human relationships. This represents a new 360-degree approach to giving customers access to Nordstrom when, how and where they want.”
The company will select a new group of stylists each year, “and we hope this program will help them continue to grow their business and expand their styling expertise,” Nordstrom said in a blog post.