B2B E-Commerce Looks More Like B2C Everyday
Technology trends such as personalization and SEO are increasingly part of the B2B e-commerce mix.
Upscale Nordstrom, originally just a shoe company, is the defining department store in Seattle, largely through its focus on customer service. It weathered the recession better than many of its peers and now plans to boost spending on e-commerce, which will include hiring 400 people for that effort, according to Power Retail.
It plans to spend $150 million this year on e-commerce infrastructure, roughly 30 percent of the company's capital expenditures. That's up from 20 percent last year.
It recently reported that sales grew by 60 percent last year at its newly acquired flash sale site HauteLook and the site doubled membership to 7.5 million. Direct sales (online) increased about 30 percent and same-store sales by 7.2 percent.
The company continues to maintain focus on e-commerce and mobility, and with initiatives like free shipping, online shopping has improved greatly. Average order size, units per order, and cross-shopping across the website are also on the rise.
Overall, Nordstrom customers are spending more time in stores while the company broadens the customer experience with consistency across channels.
The article mentions plans for added functions on the POS devices and for new tools to enhance the shopping experience. GeekWire quotes kudos from research and advisory investment bank Caris & Co. carried by Barron's (subscription required):
Nordstrom's rollout of customer-centric technologies are allowing it to more fully embrace multi-channel retailing and it continues to build both customer loyalty and sales. As Nordstrom continues to expand over the coming years, in its full-line stores, off-price racks and online, we believe the shares should more fully reflect the retailer's growth potential amongst affluent customers.
I've written before that retailers struggle to hire IT talent because it's not considered sexy work. But the job could come with some great discounts.