NORDSTROM RESERVE & TRY
My role: UX writer
Reserve & Try in Store was launched in 2016 on Nordstrom’s iOS and Android apps. Shoppers can shop the app and reserve items to try in store without having to purchase them. Once items are available, shoppers can try what they reserved in a pre-set fitting room that is ready for them within 2 hours (during open store hours). With more people shopping online, the goal of this service was to bridge the digital and in-store shopping experiences because shoppers still want to try and feel out an item before buying it.
“The development of this sort of convenience feature fits well with Nordstrom's traditional reputation for superior customer service, and adds an extra layer to the growing click-and-collect trend to ensure customers are satisfied with the fit of their products before purchase.”
In several rounds of usability testing, it became clear the location services requirement flow needed extra care and consideration. Users were reluctant to share their location which was necessary to prepare the fitting room ahead of customer arrival, and a requirement to continue the reservation. We tested numerous language options of the location services notification. It had to work double duty to communicate the requirement to share location and a pre-set fitting room being ready upon the shopper's arrival.
Bridging the app and in-store experience
A successful launch required aligning UX, development, project management, store design, marketing, store employees and store leadership. How we spoke about the service stemmed from the language we presented to the user in the app. My role as a UX writer moved beyond the app experience, into internal tools store employees use to prepare for the customer’s arrival and store signage that helps guide customers arriving to try on their reserved items. It was exciting to work on a truly digital to physical, end-to-end experience.
What I learned
Language matters and should be part of the full UX design process. Testing language proved critical because we were asking shoppers to do something new—to reserve an item on the app and then head straight to a fitting room upon arrival to the store to give it a try.
I worked with some of the best designers anyone could hope for. They inspired me to take the time to learn UX design and extend my role beyond UX writing.