But don’t jump on the App Store and look for the new app, because you won’t find it there. Don’t bother looking on Android Market, because it isn’t there either. And no, it’s not a BlackBerry app. So what’s the big deal about this new app if you can’t even find it on any of the app stores for download.
The big deal is the app is focused on customer service, which is one of Nordstrom’s biggest focus items. When it came time to go mobile, Nordstrom didn’t launch a customer facing application for your typical consumer. They could have done this, and it would have been relatively simple to develop and roll out an app for Nordstrom customers that would provide store location services, hours, contact numbers, etc. But they didn’t go there. Nordstrom did something that seems obvious, but it’s one which so many companies miss.
They aimed their mobile effort at helping enhance a business priority that was important to them…customer service. Realizing their customers didn’t want to wait in line for simple price checks or inventory checks, they developed an app that runs on an iPod Touch and allows their sales people to look up immediate information for customers without forcing the customer to wait in line for a cashier to do that type of look up. In fact, they can complete check outs without the customer having to go to a register, a technique called line busting.
There is nothing wrong with customer facing applications. In fact, very often they are valuable tools. However, mobility can be leveraged in many other ways. The trick is to understand your business needs and priorities, and then find the right type of mobile mechanism to help you reach those priorities.
Bravo, Nordstrom! You did well.
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