Neiman Marcus Focusing on Omnichannel Strategy
Karen Katz, chief executive officer and president of Neiman Marcus Group, told a packed audience at the Oracle Industry Connect conference in Boston yesterday that the specialty retailer is putting a big focus — and a lot of money — into its technology infrastructure.
In fact, the three major areas the company is focusing on now — omnichannel integration, and improving its in-store and e-commerce shopping experiences — “are all tech-based," Katz said.
As for omnichannel initiatives, Katz said, “customers love to shop Neiman Marcus from anywhere in the world, in stores and via e-commerce or with our call-center representatives, and we will continue to improve our ability to get the right items to them conveniently and with a full-service model.” In addition, Katz said the company has recently appointed a senior vice president whose sole focus is on implementing omnichannel strategies.
In that vein, Neiman Marcus has instituted a compensation program that encourages in-store sales associates to drive customers to the web. Simply put, in-store sales associates earn commissions whenever their customers purchase items online.
“We have a robust selection of products online that we don't have room for in our brick-and-mortar stores, such as home furnishings, so we encourage our sales associates to tell customers about this merchandise," said Katz. "The smartest ones are very clever and help their clients with everything they possibly can.”
Mobile is also a big part of Neiman Marcus’ omnichannel focus. The retailer recently launched an app that bridges the gap between its virtual identity and its brick-and-mortar presence. The NM app enables users to search by department to locate or contact sales associates at any Neiman Marcus store via email, text, phone call or FaceTime. Users may also choose to receive advance notice of upcoming store events or special offers.