BEAUTY SHOPPERS’ BEST FRIEND
With so many brands to choose from, how do beauty shoppers at Nordstrom decide what’s right for them? The retailer has answered that need with Beauty Stylists that give customers the luxury of personal assistance not connected to a specific brand. The Nordstrom Beauty Stylists are the Personal Shoppers of the Beauty Department. Beauty Fashion sat down with Nordstrom Merchandising Group, Cosmetics’, EC Regional Beauty Director, to discuss the Beauty Stylists program and how it enhances the customer’s experience in-store.
: When did Nordstrom initiate the Beauty Stylists concept and what inspired it?
: Everything we do at Nordstrom revolves around our customers, so we really wanted to know what they expected and what they were requesting. We learned that our customers love to shop in a variety of different ways at different times. For example, some love to shop with their branded beauty advisors, and at times, some enjoy shopping across all brands. So, Nordstrom started the Beauty Stylists program approximately two years ago.
: How do the Beauty Stylists help to engage the customer?
: Because of our Beauty Stylists, our customer feels that they have found someone they can trust. Someone that is giving them advise about what’s right for them, and making sure their needs are met. The Beauty Stylists are not just selling the customer a product. This is what is so engaging about our program.
We are now seeing word-of-mouth about the Beauty Stylists. Customers are bringing their friends and telling them, “You have to meet my Beauty Stylist.” So, the Beauty Stylist becomes the Personal Shopper for Cosmetics. It provides a very safe environment that allows our customers to try new things and explore new ways of shopping for cosmetics.
: Do you see an increase in loyalty to the Beauty Department by customers’ return visits?
: Absolutely. Our customers are continuing to reach out to our Beauty Stylists now that they have established a relationship with them. We like to say, “The Beauty Stylist is your new best friend in beauty, “because the customer has someone they can trust who is going to shop for them.
We have a program called Personal Book, which is a way for Nordstrom to reach out and connect with our customers as well as track their history. If a customer forgets what foundation shade she is using, we can look it up. It can be a reminder about replenishment. Personal Book is also a way for us to communicate about great events coming up.
: How has the Beauty Stylist program progressed to this point?
: In the past two years, we’ve continued to grow the Beauty Stylist program as we see the need for them in stores, and as the customer continues to respond. We see this as a really important part of our overall service experience at Nordstrom.
: Has social media been involved in this program?
: Each store has its own Facebook page, and the Beauty Stylists can partner with the store and feature beauty must haves and also promote upcoming local events. .
: Are there specific perks at Nordstrom that Beauty Stylists can call out for their customers?
: Through our social media campaign, we have a program called Sample Saturdays—a Nordstrom exclusive initiative—where we have a featured sample in all stores every Saturday. But at Nordstrom, we stand for giving our customers samples on a daily basis. We know that the customer likes to “Try Before, they buy.” This customization of samples allows us to make a sample of anything we carry for our customers to try. It’s a way to make sure that product is right for the customer.
: What are the qualities you look for in a Beauty Stylist?
: A Beauty Stylist must have the customer’s best interest at heart. Our Beauty Stylists must be extremely well-versed in product knowledge. To make sure our Beauty Stylists are up-to-date on the continuous changes in the beauty industry, we have invited them to summits with beauty vendors from every brand. Every spring and fall, the Beauty Stylists are trained by the vendors on the top hot products for the season and what makes each brand different.
Beauty Stylists must have the ability to be the expert across all brands and give Nordstrom’s All-Star Service, ensuring that the customer always comes first. Like the Personal Shoppers we have for fashion, our Beauty Stylists program is for cosmetics. We invite everybody to come in and experience this complimentary service.