- Nordstrom, the retailer with 354 locations across 40 states, will go decidedly digital for this year's Anniversary Sale, which begins July 21. Elements will include a Snapchat geofilter for shoppers to share their location in any full-line Nordstrom store, according to a press release by the company, as well as an exclusive Snapchat lens featuring accessories on sale during the event. Customers can unlock the custom lens via Snapcodes printed on coffee cups, catalogs, ad materials and at in-store locations.
- A "Scan + Shop" feature lets customers add items from the print catalog to their Nordstrom app through a smartphone camera. The department store will also offer in-store and curbside pickup for online orders and a "Sneak-A-Peek site experience" for customers to view items before the sale launches.
- The retailer also partnered with six brand ambassadors to feature sale picks on social media, including Ashley Graham, model, body activist, author and lingerie designer; Russell Wilson, NFL quarterback and co-founder of Good Man Brand; Taye Diggs, actor, singer and dancer; Hana Mae Lee, "Pitch Perfect" actress; choreographer and dancer Keone Madrid; and textile designer Kindah Khalidy.
This year's Anniversary Sale taps the popular lens and geofilter features on Snapchat, the photo-sharing platform used by 166 million people a day, which points to the retailer's strategy to boost brand awareness and engage customers as they shop in stores and online. As the retail industry faces a decline in sales, financial troubles and cutthroat competition, brands everywhere are looking to slash prices and quickly adjust to consumers' shifting behaviors by meeting them where they already are: on their smartphones. With its "Scan + Shop" feature for customers to add items from the print catalog to a branded mobile app, Nordstrom might better bridge the offline and online shopping experience — and streamline the purchasing process for more serious shoppers.
The retailer's branded geofilter on Snapchat is likely part of a fun push to boost digital engagement among more casual and younger shoppers while they browse the annual sale in stores, as it's only available in or near one of the company's 122 full-line locations.
This isn't Nordstrom's first attempt at more seamlessly integrating social media platforms and marketing tactics into its shopping experience. It brought Pinterest into its stores in a 2013 push by labeling items on its shelves with "top pinned item" tags. And, as the official sponsor of the Tony Awards last year, the retailer made items available online as soon as they were seen on the red carpet in another instance of it tapping influencers to generate buzz and boost awareness among consumers.