Many retailers struggle as they try to build or invest in new technologies without knowing whether those tools will augment the customer experience and build brand loyalty, says Gartner analyst Robert Hetu, who added that he has no inside knowledge into Nordstrom's plans or strategy. "They may have been trying to boil the ocean and by cutting back on the staff and the thought may be: How do I go back and find what technologies that will make the difference?" Hetu says.
Nordstrom hasn't been shy about testing new technologies -- or disrupting itself when it believes something isn’t working. In 2010, it was among the first retailers to launch an innovation lab.
In 2013, Nordstrom pulled the plug on a beacon pilot test that used Wi-Fi signals from smartphones to track customer movement in 17 stores after shoppers complained. In 2015, Nordstrom scaled back the innovation lab approach, instead pairing technology innovators with business groups to launch a texting app that let shoppers buy merchandize suggested via text messages from in-store sales associates.
Srinivasan comes to Nordstrom with more than 18 years of technology and product management experience, including most recently as co-founder and CEO of marketing software maker Evocalize. He also spent a year as CTO for Bazaarvoice and chief product and technology officer at Lockerz. From 2005 until 2010, he worked in general manager and vice president roles for Amazon’s Payments unit.
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