Nordstrom's differentiation strategy is its customer service initiatives that are supported by the sales associates. As depicted in the companys case study, its business strategy (customer-focused strategy) heavily relies on the client experience. The sales staffs play a significant contribution to the success of Nordstrom Inc because they assist the customer to feel comfortable (Spector & McCarthy, 2000). Most importantly, Nordstroms liberal return policy allows clients to return the goods they had purchased even without a receipt; this exceptional service attributed to its ranking as Americas favorite fashion chain in 2013. The company is undoubtedly well-positioned to continue this trend in the future. It is important to realize that effective strategies or recommendations should be put in place for Nordstrom's leadership to create the next level of growth for the company. In this light, the aim of this study is to develop three effective recommendations for Nordstrom leadership that will enhance its brand reputation and growth in future. Therefore, the suggested strategies include: strengthening its internet leadership position, employee empowerment and hiring the right kind of staffs, and maintaining an inventory management. If Nordstrom applies these ideas to its current business strategy, certainly future growth is imminent.
Strengthening its Internet Leadership Position
Undoubtedly, Nordstroms management is innovative and consistently looking for growth. As Bailey (2015) indicates, the company is recently attracting consumers between 16 and 34 years of age. A significant driver for online business success is that the young people are well-informed about the products they want. Nordstrom should, therefore, maximize on this opportunity. As a fast growing channel in retail businesses globally, e-commerce generates over half of revenues, and it would be important if the corporate brings in famous brands like Zara and Topshop. Social networking platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest pages are popular sites where young people converge and more prominent on sales. Leob (2014) explains that Nordstrom's management has begun adjusting boosting its sales through the company's off-price Internet efforts. Strengthening its internet leadership position will involve personalizing the mens clothing service. The internet is a 24-hour gateway to products and services online hence these efforts will merge with other fast growing online fashion sites to ensure their broader customers enjoy the various assortments available on the internet.
From a personal observation, online chat with a customer support staff at Nordstrom through the company's website revealed the generosity and willingness to assist clients by all means. I also made efforts to visit a Nordstrom store and spoke to two sale staffs who echoed the relevance of e-marketing to attract young people to their stores. In this light, it is important to realize that Nordstrom already markets its products online, but a crucial factor is that it should make efforts to strengthen its internet leadership position that would ultimately increase the revenue by almost 30% (Bailey, 2015).
Employee Empowerment and hiring the right Staffs
Employee empowerment is extremely relevant in delivering quality customer care at Nordstrom. Nordstroms case study indicates that the sale staffs have been imperative in many ways such as selecting items for customers and going the extra mile for the client. Therefore, these unpredictable and complex tasks require highly trained and motivated staffs that will make use of the autonomy. Due to time and availability constraints, I could not be able to interview a manager at the Nordstrom store regarding the hiring of staffs, however, as Borg (2015) highlights, employee empowerment is the key to customer service success in the company. In this light, an appropriate strategy for Nordstroms leadership should be in pace to empower employee through training, nurturing, and coaching. Rewarding good employees should be part of the culture at Nordstrom. Additionally, all employees who show exemplary performance in customer service should also be chosen as employee of the month. The hiring of the sales staff should be decentralized and be based on their behavior instead of experience. It is important to consider that empowering employees and hiring the right staffs is a business strategy that aims at maximizing the customer experience. Motivated employees create a level of growth in a company and Nordstrom should ensure that it hires only the best people who align with its corporate structure.
Maintaining an Inventory Management
According to Loeb, recent earnings report depicted the lack of sales momentum in 2013 fourth quarter. Nordstrom performs an inventory check twice annually, and it has been cited to cost the company hence an ineffective approach (Loeb, 2014). Nordstrom Inc could consider doing regular inventory checks for the products. An imperative approach and solution would be to maintain an optimal level of inventory since it helps to ensure the availability of in-demand products. Consequently, this in turn avoids out of stock situations, lowers costs and inventory obsolescence. By leveraging the store merchandise to meet the online orders and bringing popular merchandises, Nordstrom will turn its inventory faster and be more readily available for its clients (Bailey, 2015).
Bailey, S. (2015). An overview of Nordstroms growth story - Market Realist. Marketrealist.com. Retrieved 7 December 2015, from http://marketrealist.com/2015/02/overview-nordstroms-growth-story/
Borg, S. (2015). Employee Empowerment is the Key to Customer Service Success. Business 2 Community. Retrieved 7 December 2015, from http://www.business2community.com/customer-experience/employee-empowerment-key-customer-service-success-01236718#ECVBZqpEsmii1Owp.97
Loeb, W. (2014). Forbes Welcome. Forbes.com. Retrieved 7 December 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterloeb/2014/08/19/nordstroms-unfolding-strategy-reflects-the-future-of-retailing/
Spector, R., & McCarthy, P. (2000). The Nordstrom way. New York: Wiley.
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