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Nordstrom acquires two start-ups focused on digital experience

Nordstrom is boosting its online shopping capabilities.

The department store retailer has closed deals to acquire two retail technology companies: an employee-focused digital selling tool BevyUp, and MessageYes, a platform rooted in conversational commerce. The financial terms of the deals, part of the retailer's efforts to create a more seamless shopping experience across its brand, were not disclosed.

"The retail environment is changing faster than ever, but the value of service, speed, convenience and newness remain constant," said Brian Gill, technology senior VP at Nordstrom. "To continue to be successful into the future, we need to invest in technologies that will enable us to deliver on those qualities and better serve customers in a digitally-connected world."

BevyUp is a platform that allows sales associates to communicate with each other on the back-end, and encourages shoppers to share information with each other and browse items together online. Its selling platform will be incorporated into a new, integrated mobile Nordstrom employee app that will be rolled out in the coming year.

"We're investing in providing our salespeople with a mobile suite of capabilities that enables them to be relevant, informative and accessible to our customers," Gill said. "As a leader in retail technology and an existing Nordstrom partner, BevyUp is uniquely positioned to help us deliver for our people and our customers."

MessageYes allows retailers and brands the opportunity to text their customers, leveraging artificial intelligence and integrated payments. Customers would be able to respond with a simple "Yes" to one of Nordstrom's messages to instantly buy products from their phones.

“MessageYes marks a meaningful addition to our existing depth of talent and experience in engineering, data science and machine learning – all skills that are essential to our future growth," said Nordstrom’s Gill. "We share the same vision for the future of retail, and their team will accelerate our efforts to deliver a meaningful, personalized experience for our customers."
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