Nordstrom has launched a “Stylist Ambassador” program, enlisting store stylists from each of its top 20 markets, which include cities in the U.S. and Canada.
The stylists will work as influencers, helping to “bring the Nordstrom experience to life in a variety of ways including social media, events,” media opportunities and other channels, according to a company blog post.
Nordstrom’s top 20 markets are Los Angeles; New York; Chicago; Dallas; San Francisco; Boston; Philadelphia; Seattle; Toronto; Washington, D.C. (including Baltimore); Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Miami; Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; San Diego and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Last year, Nordstrom finally ended its long-struggling Trunk Club apparel subscription, a service akin to Stitch Fix where customers would sign up to receive a box of clothing curated by a combination of algorithms and human stylists. But even then, CEO Erik Nordstrom said the retailer would expand its styling services to include more virtual touchpoints.
Nordstrom sought to make clear that the retailer is aware of how much stylists can influence a sale. Customers engaging with a stylist, online or in a store, spend seven times more and report higher levels of satisfaction, he told analysts in May. As a result, the company is investing in styling, ranging from what Nordstrom called “low-touch outfit inspiration through our digital channels to a high-touch and personalized relationship with a stylist.”
That low touch can nevertheless be powerful, according to Deb Gabor, CEO and founder of Sol Marketing. She praised the diversity of the first group of stylists, as seen in a video provided by Nordstrom, and said the campaign overall fits with her recommendation that retailers and brands bring “authentic human connections to a customer experience.”
“The combined approach of personalization and localization enables consumers to take advantage of a high degree of market-level knowledge and might empower shoppers to deepen their relationships with Nordstrom, powered by real humans,” Gabor said by email. “Nordstrom can extend its brand value through interpersonal relationships. This represents a novel 360-degree approach to giving customers access to Nordstrom when, how, and where they want.”
The company will choose a new group of stylists each year, “and our hope is that this program helps them continue to grow their business and expand their styling expertise,” Nordstrom said in its blog post.