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Nine West elevates in-store shopping with iPads

By
December 14, 2012

The Jones Group-owned Nine West is arming sales associates with iPads this holiday season to provide customer service and serve as an internal sales tool.

The Jones Group is working with EachScape to develop a mobile application that will be used internally by the company. With growth in mobile direct and influenced sales this holiday season, retailers are increasingly turning to in-store devices to help shoppers.

“We are focused on providing our Nine West consumers with the richest shopping experience possible by directly connecting our online and offline channels, and empowering our sales associates to provide an elevated customer experience that gives them greater resources and direct access to ecommerce to utilize the full breath of our online assortments,” said Scott Bowman, group presidentof global retail and international development at The Jones Group.

The Jones Group is a designer, marketer and wholesaler for more than 35 footwear, jewelry, apparel, jeanswear and handbag brands.

In-store companion
Nine West will develop the app to serve as an in-store tool for employees at wholly-owned stores.

Store associates will be able to help shoppers by pulling up lookbooks and the ecommerce site to place orders and upsell.

Furthermore, store associates can also use the app to access store layouts of retail locations and training materials. The app can also be used to provide tracking and feedback to managers.

The app is planned to be rolled out in stores by Christmas.

“Clearly, this holiday season has been a big year for mobile commerce, and we think it’s only the beginning,” said Ludo Collin, CEO of EachScape, New York.

“On the retailer side, brands can be both innovative and effective by using mobile,” he said. “They can drive sales by presenting ideas about how groups of products work well together, ordering out-of -stock items from other locations and generally exciting the shopper about what they’re doing. This is critical since shoppers are also on their devices, so they need to be engaged with the brand and buying rather than using their mobile to find alternatives or better pricing through competitors.”

“From the back-office perspective, mobile can also be used as an efficient means of inventory management and training for those in store.”

Tis the season
Nine West is the latest in a string of retailers that are rolling out in-store mobile devices this holiday season.

Retailers are deploying in-store mobile for a variety of reasons from cutting in-store lines, driving online sales and building loyalty programs.

For example, lifestyle retailer Alex and Ani recently rolled out mobile POS to help consumers check-out quicker this holiday season (see story).

At a mass merchant level, Kmart and Sears rolled out in-store tablets this year for store navigation (see story).

“Given that consumers are armed with mobile devices and resources to shop anywhere, it’s harder and harder for retailers to capture their shopping dollars, even when they are in the store,” Mr. Collin said.

“By putting these tools in the hands of sales associates, brands get a leg up on the shopper and can enhance and improve her shopping experience, locking in a purchasing customer who hopefully will also become a loyal customer,” he said. “The loyalty can be reinforced with consumer applications that have ongoing appeal.”

“There’s also been a clear rise in mobile payments, which is just at the beginning of the trend curve. It’s bigger than last year and will continue to increase.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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