Merchant Innovation

Nordstrom Expands Omnichannel With Curbside Pickup

Major retailers across the U.S. have been focused on one retail strategy that's becoming increasingly popular as executives attempt to merge brick-and-mortar and digital strategies: omnichannel.

While the term is tossed around as the buzzword in the retail world, companies are increasingly testing methods that attract buyers who like picking up in store, but prefer that their shopping experience start online. This includes the purchase aspect, but without the hassle that is sometimes associated with a delivery. Nordstrom has joined the retailers that have begun testing a curbside pickup option for those who prefer to shop online, but then pick up at the store — all without stepping foot in the store.

While Nordstrom has offered the buy online, pick up in store option since 2008, its new option allows customers the option for curbside pickup. This option allows customers the ability to simply call or text a participating store when they want to pick up their order. A store associate will be on hand to deliver the package to the customer upon arrival.

"We're trying to make shopping more convenient," Jamie Nordstrom, president of stores at Nordstrom, said in an interview. "In the past we've made people come all the way up to the back of the third floor."

Nordstrom spokesman Dan Evans said that the curbside pickup option might be added as an option through the retailer's app. While this may be an attempt to help major retailers compete with online giants like Amazon, it's also an attempt to appeal to consumers in urban settings that customers may avoid driving toward because of the lack of parking. In this case, however, these Nordstrom stores block out spots for customers for pick up.

Curbside pickup has become increasingly popular with major retailers like Best Buy, and even on the grocery side of retail, as Meijer has also been testing the omnichannel solution.

For Best Buy, curbside pickup has seen significant success as the company said it is processing thousands of orders a week. Meijer Curbside allows shoppers to pick out their items online and then pick up those items at a participating store where that shopper can grab-and-go without stepping out of the car.

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