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article imageNordstrom purchases two startups in push into retail tech

By James Walker     Mar 12, 2018 in Technology
Nordstrom has announced it is acquiring two independent tech startups, BevyUp and MessageYes, to develop its portfolio of digital store solutions. BevyUp lets store staff communicate with customers, while MessageYes sends personalised mobile messages.
As reported by Business Insider, the acquisitions were confirmed by Nordstrom in a press release last week. The company said it wants to invest in technologies so it can "better serve" customers using digital commerce channels. Retail tech is an increasingly competitive market as stores are coming to rely on online platforms to keep customers engaged.
BevyUp and MessageYes both provide customer-centric services designed to improve the store experience. They're meant to enable more meaningful relationships between retailers and consumers. The platforms are two of several emerging solutions that enable retailers to continue targeting customers after they've left a physical store.
BevyUp provides a digital selling system that allows store staff to interact with consumers when they're not in the store. It can be used to provide personalised recommendations, offer shopping advice and enable direct communication with customers. Nordstrom plans to integrate the technology into a new first-party employee assistance app to be launched later in the year.
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MessageYes also aims to develop the relationship between retailers and customers. It allows stores to send re-engagement notifications to mobile devices. Retailers can provide personalised text messages and actionable notifications that allow the recipient to purchase products directly. The service is another way for retailers to reach their customers, without waiting for people to enter the store.
According to Nordstrom, BevyUp and MessageYes will help it grow its portfolio of digital technologies as it modernises and digitally transforms. The company said the services improve on universal retail qualities such as speed and convenience. It expects that personalisation will benefit consumers who increasingly spend more time online than in brick-and-mortar stores.
"The retail environment is changing faster than ever, but the value of service, speed, convenience and newness remain constant," said Brian Gill, technology senior vice president at Nordstrom. "To continue to be successful into the future, we need to invest in technologies that will enable us to deliver on those qualities and better serve customers in a digitally-connected world."
Nordstrom has already closed both the deals. The company hasn't disclosed the value of either acquisition. Nordstrom is currently spending heavily in an effort to improve its services, which has resulted in significant growth in e-commerce sales. However, high expenses caused profits to fall in Q4 2017, as Nordstrom's continuing to make new investments in areas including digital transformation.
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