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Customers to Shape Future of Online Shopping, Nordstrom President Says

In order to grow revenue and gain new customers, small and emerging merchants are increasingly noticing the importance of becoming multichannel retailers. Multichannel retailers are businesses that sell products through more than one distribution route — including outlets such as catalogs, retail stores and online.

Blake Nordstrom, president of upscale department store chain Nordstrom, discussed customers’ evolving role in shaping the future of multichannel retailing – particularly in the online and mobile realms – during the Magento Imagine e-commerce conference being held in Los Angeles this week.

“There’s a shift taking place and all of you are keenly aware of it: We need to be customer-driven instead of customer-focused,” Nordstrom told more than 600 attendees on Feb. 8.

Merchants need to excel at e-commerce and evolve as customers’ shopping behaviors and demands change, he said.

“As a fashion business, change is apparent in what we do,” he added. “It’s about outcomes, not activities. Customers don’t care about what platform you’re using. They care about the experience . The customer is defining how the experience will be.”

Some of those customers are like his 21-year-old daughter. “She wants it now,” he said.

To accommodate customers who desire immediacy, Nordstrom installed Wi-Fi in its 187 retail stores in 28 states. By fall, the company wants to equip its employees with handheld mobile devices. Nordstrom said mobile would change the shopping experience for customers and employees: Customers in dressing rooms would be able to text or call employees to get a different sized clothing item. Merchants would be able to know when a customer left and send a thank- you note for visiting or purchasing products.

“We’re on this journey together,” Nordstrom said. “(E-commerce ) is the subject the customer truly values.Reduce the complexity for the customer experience.”

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer Brian Anthony Hernandez at Bhernandez@TechMediaNetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BAHjournalist.