How Nordstrom Used Influencers to Entice Shoppers Back to Stores

by Freya Drohan

Content creators like Wendy Nguyen have been busy fielding queries for a new type of campaign, one which shows apprehensive shoppers what it’s really like to step foot in stores again. 

The petite influencer, who boasts 1.1 million followers on Instagram, was enlisted by Nordstrom for a series of sponsored posts about new in-store protocol following reopening.

Nguyen, aka the fashion force behind the blog Wendy’s Lookbook, assured followers that both shoppers and staff at the seven-story New York City flagship store were wearing masks and practicing social distancing. She also explained that there’s safe distancing markers on the floor and contactless style concierge services.

The founder of the CBD boutique Artemis added that her visit to Nordstrom was her first time out of her home in months. In previous posts, Nguyen talked about experiencing anxiety as a result of the pandemic and has notably been posting outfit posts mainly confined to her living room since March.

Nordstrom also tapped Aïssata Diallo for a series of reassuring sponsored posts and ‘follow me’-style stories from within the store. It’s believed that Nordstrom will work with a series of other high profile influencers to continue to promote and focus on the New York City location.

The campaign comes as more and more retailers struggle to regain foot traffic after months of lockdown. Though Nordstrom’s forecast is more promising than others, according to the Wall Street Journal, data shows that general mall visits are down as much as 57% this year.

Krishna Subramanian, founder of influencer marketing firm Captiv8, oversaw this campaign and said it is the first executed example of something many other fashion retailers are currently planning.

“In times of uncertainty, people are going to find the people that they trust the most to provide validation for the things that they’ve loved doing in the past,” he said. “Remember that experience you used to have on a weekly basis? Here’s how you do that again. We’re not all the way back to normal, but here’s a step to that.”

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𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗽 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱> – More than a store, @nordstrom is a destination of discovery which you simply cannot experience online. Store highlights include Nordstrom x Nike (Level 1), the art throughout the store, and the pink Ettore Sottsass Mirror (Level 2) just to name a few! #Nordstrom #Sponsored – I absolutely appreciated the sanitizing stations that was at every corny. It made me feel sooo comfortable + safe knowing the safety measures Nordstrom has taken 🥺🙌🏾

A post shared by Aïssata Diallo (@aissatatdiallo) on

Scott Meden, Nordstrom’s chief marketing officer, added, “The health and safety of our customers and employees is our most important priority, and more than anything, we want customers to feel safe and comfortable shopping with us. For this campaign, partnering with influencers is a way to share their perspective on steps we’ve taken in the way we serve customers to help keep everyone healthy.”

And while commenters seemed resoundingly pleased to know that there are tactics in place for safer shopping and expressed interest in returning themselves, some were quick to dismiss the idea of physically setting foot in a store.

“Yeah, no. No shoe or shopping excursion is worth the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Too soon,” one person criticized.

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