In 2011 Nordstrom started a trial using Apple’s iPads and iPods for their POS. Earlier last week, late October of 2014, Nordstrom has replaced all of their Apple iPad POS hardware with VeriFone and Lenovo products. The previous software was designed by a team of “secret” Apple employees and Nordstrom IT department. According to some reports, the implementation gave Nordstrom the ability to provide excellent customer service and the satisfaction levels rose among those shopping with the help of the new system.
Well, the “news” was widely covered by the press, from Forbes to Times, the paid PR campaign announced how superb the new product was, apparently without any real evidence for being as such. The software and hardware were supposed to be “all-that” plus more and have the ability to handle these tasks:
- Credit card transaction with printed or emailed receipts
- Cash transactions with printed or emailed receipts
- Complete and flexible inventory lookup
- Returns and other customer management
So why was the press coverage a hoax? And why did Nordstrom eventually scrap and trash the “awesome” system and replace it with “old school” brand name POS systems? We spoke with several Nordstrom associates and 2 managers in the Los Angeles area for some answers.
It looks like the system was very unreliable and slow. “Half of the features” never worked as promised as stated by one of the associates at the Glendale Americana location. The printers never seemed to work when needed and most customers were unhappy with just receiving an emailed receipt. I was one of those customers just 3 months ago when I returned $560 worth of shirts and was told that they cannot give me a receipt. I wasn’t about to leave that much money there and leave without a receipt. Oh and the email receipts, they would arrive “within 20 to 30 minutes”.
So there you have it. Nordstrom scraps the iPad POS idea and no one is covering it because no PR dollars were spent on it. I just think if the initial plan was so “newsworthy” to Forbes, Times and others so should this new change!