App Lets Neiman Marcus Know When Best Customers Arrive
Neiman Marcus is testing a new iPhone-only app that enables store associates to know when a customer arrives in the store and allows them to interact with her. At the same time, the app lets customers know when their favorite store associates are working the store.
The new app, NM Service, is being tested in four stores this spring — in Austin and Dallas in Texas and San Francisco and Palo Alto in California.
Developed by startup firm Signature Labs in San Francisco, NM Service is first downloaded by a customer. Once the customer opts in, location sensors throughout the store pick up signals from her phone and lets her know which associates are at work. Through the app, customers can make appointments or leave messages for associates. They can also mark favorite products, which will automatically be visible to the customer’s sales associates.
Customers also can get messages about upcoming events, new product arrivals, sales and emerging fashion trends. QR codes on signs can be scanned throughout the store to unlock trend and product information through the mobile phone.
From a sales associate’s perspective, the NM Service app provides notifications alerting them when their customer arrives in a store and also provides a Facebook photograph so the customer can be easily recognized. Associates also gain easy access to purchase history and direct access to a customer’s new favorite items.
"The NM Service App allows us to take our service philosophy into the digital era," said Jim Gold, president, Specialty Retail, Neiman Marcus, in a statement.
The Dallas Morning News reported that, while privacy concerns remain, Foursquare and other coupon apps are showing that at least some consumers are willing to trade off location information for other benefits as they shop.
A Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Ginger Reeder told The Dallas Morning News that the focus for the upscale chain is on enhancing the sales associates and client relationship. Neiman Marcus has found that customers who shop with the same associate three times spend almost 10 times more than those who go to a random sales clerk.
- Neiman Marcus Introduces NM Service – Neiman Marcus/PRNewswire
- Neiman Marcus testing iPhone app – The Associated Press/Today/MSNBC
- Neiman Marcus testing app that tells it you are in the store – The Dallas Morning News
Discussion Questions: How receptive do you think customers will be to apps that enable store associates to know when they enter the store? What are the likely benefits to customers as well as associates?