June 09, 2014

Online / Retail Dynamics - Nordstrom

When I worked at Nordstrom, circa 2006, we knew that our "multi-channel" customers exhibited a consistent behavior:

  • 3 Website Visits Per Month.
  • 2 In-Store Visits Per Month.
  • 1 Purchase Per Month, 85% In-Store.
We also knew that online customers, after a first purchase, were more likely to migrate to retail than to stay within the online channel.

We also knew that retail customers, after a first purchase, were going to stay within the retail channel, using the website to research an upcoming in-store experience.

Tactically, you change your thinking when you understand the role that your website and mobile experience play in the customer relationship.

Specifically, there is no reason to demand a "conversion" on a website when the customer uses the website to research an in-store purchase. I know, I know, this runs counter to everything you've been taught. But come on!

In a retail environment (same thing with a catalog environment), the website is far more likely to play a research role than a commerce role. This means you want to recognize the customer upon a visit. If that customer is a "retail researcher", then give the customer what s/he wants - don't demand a purchase today.

Tomorrow, we'll look at one of the segments from yesterday's image (shown below).