By Michelle Graff
Nordstrom customers can now buy merchandise, including fine jewelry, via text message through a new service called TextStyle. The necklaces and earrings pictures here are from Lana Jewelry.
Seattle--Nordstrom just launched a service that allows customers to buy from their salesperson or personal stylist via text message.

Called TextStyle, the service is open only to customers who already are using Next. Next is a texting product Nordstrom developed and launched last year with Twilio, a San Francisco-based cloud communications company, that is “secure, private and on an opt-in-basis for the customer,” Nordstrom said.

To get Next, customers must go into a store and ask a salesperson to provide them with their Next text number. (Nordstrom gave each of its salespeople a 10-digit number to use for Next.) The customer then receives a message back and replies “YES” to opt-in to the service and can then communicate with that salesperson via text.

Customers use their Next account to opt-in to TextStyle. Once they opt-in, a salesperson can send private text messages to them with a description of photo of a product they might like, based on their tastes and past purchase history.

If they like it, the customer texts back “BUY” with a unique code, and the purchase is completed using their account information, and is shipped directly to them via Nordstrom’s standard, free delivery.

Customers also can initiate conversation with the salesperson, texting them, for example, that they are looking for jewelry that goes with the dress they plan to wear to a wedding or a party.

Nordstrom claims that the launch of TextStyle makes it the first and only retail company in the United States that offers consumers who opt-in the ability to shop and buy with a text message, and its not the first time that the Seattle-based department store has embraced technology and mobile commerce.

Last fall, Nordstrom added the “Like2Buy” feature from Philadelphia-based Curalate to its Instagram account. It allows Instagram users to link from Nordstrom’s profile page to another page that is a curated gallery of Instagram-featured items that are available for purchase. Users can click on items they like and they’ll be taken to the Nordstrom website, where they can buy them.

Nordstrom Inc. is a publicly traded department store chain with 304 stores in 38 states plus Canada. The retailer has 188 Nordstrom stores in the U.S. and Canada; 178 Nordstrom Rack (off-price) stores; two Jeffrey boutiques; and a clearance store.

The retailer also owns the flash sale website HauteLook and Trunk Club, a personalized clothing service directed at men that sells through its website as well as at five “clubhouses.”

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