An Industry Breakdown of Nordstrom’s Acquisition of BevyUp and MessageYes

by Jenna Sindle

A force to be reckoned with in the retail space, Nordstrom has made big strides in upping its digital approach to high-end retail. From the launch of its “Reserve Online and Try In-Store” offering, to the opening of its “Nordstrom Local” stores, the leading apparel company is clearly showing no signs of  slowing it’s embrace of the hybridized customer experience.

To keep the good times rolling, Nordstrom announced earlier this month the acquisition of not one, but two tech startups – BevyUp and MessageYes – that will enhance their ability to personalize and mobilize the shopping experience. Nordstrom has long been a role model for the retailing community, with pristine customer service as their crown jewel; these acquisitions are going to bring that key value into the 21st century.

To give our readers a more holistic view of this news, we’ve compiled some of the top headlines about the acquisitions that share both the pros and cons of the situation. Here’s what industry experts are sharing:

Nordstrom Snaps Up Tech Startups to Fuel Mobile Shopping

Dan O’Shea at Retail Dive talked about the specific capabilities of both BevyUp and MessageYes and exactly what they will enable in Nordstrom’s overall strategy. He reported, “The notion that Nordstrom is actively investing in and working to upgrade its approach to mobile shopping should not go unnoticed. The deals fit with Nordstrom’s ongoing efforts to integrate its physical and digital shopping experiences as much as possible…”

The biggest takeaways about BevyUp and MessageYes are that they will both power deep personalization abilities primarily through a mobile platform. O’Shea continued, “It may be time for retailers to acknowledge that their mobile apps (or websites, or voice assistants) should become their primary vehicles for providing more personalized shopping experiences for customers, including more personal and direct communication between store associates and customers.”

Read the whole story here.

In Shifting Retail Battle, Nordstrom Acquires Two Tech Startups to Further Boost its Digital Credibility

Geekwire’s Kurt Schlosser pointed out the fact that these acquisitions are simply necessary for a seasoned retailer like Nordstrom to compete with more “modern” retailing companies. (*cough* Amazon *cough*) In his recent article on the news, he stated, “Like many other traditional retailers, Nordstrom has struggled in recent years to keep pace with Amazon and the rising tide of customers who have turned to online shopping.”

This technology move on Nordstrom’s part is really their best bet at bridging the gaps between a hyper-mobilized target audience, their personalization demands, and the superior customer service Nordstrom is know for providing in-store.

Read the whole story here.

Nordstrom Deals Raise Question: Should Retailers Acquire Tech Startups?

Forbes Contributor Matthew Stern dug a little deeper into Nordstrom’s acquisitions of these companies and asked if acquisition really the most effective way for retailers to evolve with customer demands.

Stern wrote, “‘These are great innovations now, but without the market pressures and insights of a large group of customers, will these solutions continue to evolve?’ said Nikki Baird, vice president of retail innovation at Aptos and Forbes contributor. ‘Or did Nordstrom just buy, in effect, a new development team, which will now fall prey to all of the challenges of an internal development team, which forced Nordstrom into buying an outside tech startup in the first place?’”

The group of industry experts included in Stern’s article poses the questions, “Is partnership or acquisition the right move here? Will that acquisition result in stagnation of BevyUp and MessageYes’s innovation? Will the responsibility of moving that technology forward be worth it for Nordstrom in the long run?”

These are questions only time can answer, but in the meantime, Nordstrom is sitting in a place where they have a lot of skin in the retail tech game and are ready to compete with the likes of Amazon.

Read the whole story here.

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