Nordstrom takes mobile device integration to a new level

By now, the use of mobile devices during the retail shopping experience should not be a surprise for most customers. Many merchants are using smartphones, tablets or iPods as point of sale terminals or have mobile applications to help patrons make purchases or navigate the store. One national chain is looking to take this idea to the next level, and it's not who you would think.

High-end department store Nordstrom has been at the front of the mobile POS terminal trend. Associates already carry iPods to check customers out from anywhere in the store and many carry iPads to help answer inquiries about product availability in​-store and at other locations.

Now the company is looking to take this even further. In a recent interview with CITEworld, Jessica Sheibach, group product manager at Nordstrom Direct, spoke about some upcoming pilot programs that could lead to even more mobile devices entering Nordstrom outlets.

"We are focused on looking at in-store experiences," Sheibach said. "We want to marry the online and store experiences."

One plan is to add iPads to every dressing room. This way a patron can search inventory at the store to see is an item is stocked in different sizes and colors, and check availability in other locations. Customers will also be able to use a new mobile application to select items before entering the store and have them waiting in the dressing room to be tried on when they arrive.

Other moves are to bulk up the iPad POS options by adding both self-service checkouts and replacing existing cash registers with mobile devices.

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