To keep pace in the sprint to integrate online and offline shopper experiences at every touch point, Nordstrom has acquired two Seattle-based retail technology startups: BevyUp and MessageYes.
BevyUp is a platform designed to enable sales associates to communicate with each other on the back end, encourage shoppers to share product information with each other and browse items together online. Nordstrom will incorporate the platform into a new mobile app for employees that the retailer will roll out later in 2018.
Historically, the associate-customer connections and conversations about style decisions that Nordstrom prides itself on have only happened in brick-and-mortar stores, but these Nordstrom is seeking to change that by bringing these habits to the mobile phone. Additionally, the acquisitions move the retailer further into conversational commerce, which continues to gain traction among U.S. consumers as a new way to shop.
The acquisition route indicates that Nordstrom is serious about leveraging both digital technologies and the people behind them.The addition brings with it 30 “talented and passionate people” from the two startups, said Brian Gill, Technology Senior VP at Nordstrom in an interview with GeekWire.
A collection of the department store’s founding family members crafted a bid to take the retailer private, but earlier this week a board committee rejected the proposal. In taking Nordstrom private, the family wanted to remove itself from both the volatility of the stock market and the need to please shareholders. If Nordstrom operated as a private company, it could invest more in experimental initiatives designed to generate long-term results, without having to worry about public (or Wall Street) opinion that could affect the company’s financial value.
"The retail environment is changing faster than ever, but the value of service, speed, convenience and newness remain constant," said Gill in a statement. "To continue to be successful into the future, we need to invest in technologies that will enable us to deliver on those qualities and better serve customers in a digitally-connected world."
Nordstrom has not disclosed the financial terms of the transactions.