Anniversary Q&A with Fanya Chandler
Anniversary Sale is upon us, but it's not just the great new products at limited-time savings customers are excited about — there are incredible services they can take advantage of as well. Fanya Chandler, who leads our styling services, walks us through how this year's Anniversary might look a little different and how we've translated many of our services to reflect a better digital and contactless experience.
How might this year's Anniversary Sale look different to customers?
Anniversary Sale is an event that both our customers and our teams get excited about year after year. I always love hearing about people scheduling vacation or adjusting when they work so they can shop the event. This year, the enthusiasm for the event remained, but we had to rethink parts of the event due to COVID-19.
The most obvious change to the Sale this year is the date — we pushed it back to ensure the safety and comfort of our customers and employees and that we had the right and most relevant product for customers and ensure that the experience is the best it can be. As always, this year's assortment is still full of items from the brands our customers love, but with a focus on categories that have resonated most with customers during COVID-19. This includes loungewear, activewear and cozy home items that accommodate the stay-at-home life that many are now experiencing.
In the past, we produced a physical catalog that was the first opportunity for the customer to see what was going to be on sale, but because of COVID-19, we couldn't create one this year. We quickly adapted and translated the catalog into an interactive digital preview site that provides customers an online preview of what's on sale. Additionally, customers can save items they love on our Wish List feature so they can make their purchase at the click of the mouse once it's their time to shop. I've heard a lot of great things from customers about this feature and we are excited to hear that it has been so well received.
For store safety, we have continued to keep hand disinfectant and face coverings right at the entrance in addition to numerous safety measures customers might not notice. Most stores will have someone greeting customers to not only serve as a safety ambassador but also as a connection ambassador to help make the shopping experience more comfortable for everything from navigation of the store to facilitating a return.
What different services are available this year?
We're continuing to provide contactless services like buy online and pickup in-store as well as curbside pick up for customers who want to get great service without having to enter our stores.
While our stores were temporarily closed, we listened carefully to our customers and thought about how we can continue to be relevant and serve them during this evolving time. Customers told us they still wanted advice and curated looks without going into a store, so, we took their feedback and created a few new features.
- Styling Appointment Scheduler: First, we made it simple for customers to book an in-person or virtual styling appointment on Nordstrom.com. After customers book their appointment, someone will follow-up with a few questions to understand their budget and preferences.
- Virtual Styling Appointments: We've always offered styling appointments in person, and this year we are thrilled to launch virtual styling appointments. After the initial follow-up, once the customer books an appointment, the stylist will still fill a fitting room with outfits selected just for the customer but will call them on FaceTime or Zoom to walk through the outfits, provide styling advice and answer any questions. After the appointment, the stylist will make a Styleboard based on what the customer liked and any feedback they provided. The customer can then review all the options one more time, make edits to what they want to receive and purchase the products right there online.
- Virtual Customer Event Series: We also wanted to find a way to continue our customer events that normally run in conjunction with Anniversary, so we leveraged our fashion and beauty experts — along with some of the best brands — to create virtual events for our customers where we are sharing top picks and how-to advice. These are all just examples of how we hope to stay connected with customers in a safe and fun way.
What makes the Anniversary Sale so unique?
Anniversary Sale includes new product along with some of our most popular items at a great value. This is a once-a-year opportunity to find the latest styles as well as some of our customers' favorites on sale. The thing that I love most is the fashion and how we work with great brands like Frame Denim, Good American, Madewell, Topshop/Topman, Nike, Adidas, AG Jeans, Le Labo, La Mer and more. The time frame for the sale is also a unique element because this is truly an event where we aren't taking discounted product from the brands or trying to offload inventory — these items are brand new — and we're truly trying to partner with the best brands to offer the latest styles at a discounted price for a limited time.