“Dynatrace was a critical factor in our ability to reduce our performance testing cycles from two months to two weeks.”
Nordstrom, Inc. is a leading fashion specialty retailer that offers clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children. The company’s 63,000 employees serve customers in 38 states with 118 full-line stores in the United States and one in Canada; 167 Nordstrom Rack locations, two Jeffrey boutiques, and one clearance store.
Their website, Nordstrom.com, serves customers in 96 countries. The company also operates an e-commerce site, Nordstromrack.com, which operates in partnership with its private sale site HauteLook. Recently, Nordstrom began serving even more customers through Trunk Club, a personalized styling service. The retailer is dedicated to providing its customers the best possible experience through a network of innovative multi-channel services that combine brick-and-mortar shopping with online extras.
Gopal Brugalette, Performance Architect at Nordstrom explains: “Our customers expect the same level of service no matter where they shop with us. They’re always looking for something new and better—so we always have to experiment and innovate. We’ve posted our Pinterest item of the day and, recently, we enlisted the help of 11 New York fashion aficionados to offer our customers an ‘Instalog’ of new looks through social media.” Nordstrom’s team is constantly developing new web pages, social media outreach programs and services that combine in-store events with online participation.
“We’re always evolving to exceed our customers’ expectations,” he says. “We want our customers to have a singular Nordstrom experience that bridges the online and in-person shopping experience.”
“Our online sales have increased 30% each of the last three years. Twenty five percent of our customers are using mobile technology,” says Brugalette. “Multi-channel customers spend three to four times more than typical customers. But there’s an inverse relationship between slow page load time and conversions for online sales,” he remarks. “Performance is a joint responsibility between our test team, development team, the business—everyone working together.”
“We needed a solution that would provide quality performance management from our test environment through production,” says Brugalette. ”We also needed to be able to partner with the business and provide detailed insight into customer behavior both online and in-store. We had to be able to see what was accepted and used by our customers and what was not. This is very important to our corporate philosophy.”
“Performance is a joint responsibility between our test team, development team, the business—everyone working together.”
Brugalette and his team initiated a cultural shift at Nordstrom to keep ahead of their customers’ expectations and provide strategic information to the business. “Dynatrace facilitated that change by giving us the insight into customer experience throughout our organization,” he says. “Our strategy was to put Dynatrace in all of our environments.”
With Dynatrace, Nordstrom has a more reliable testing environment as well as more responsive production. “Performance engineering continues in production,” says Brugalette. “Dynatrace gives us the ability and the confidence to keep adapting and learn from our customers. It shows us exactly where there are issues and—just as importantly—it shows us where there aren’t.”
“We used to test code at least three times to be sure it would work,” he says. “Now, when Dynatrace doesn’t flag any issues, we have confidence that everything is OK the first time. This keeps our team moving quickly and focused on improvement—not tracking down issues. Our performance testing has gone from a two month cycle to a two-week cycle. This contributed to our increase in the number of releases from four times a year to once a month, keeping us agile.”
“Now we’re thinking about the next 100 years for Nordstrom,” says Brugalette. “When I first started, we spent a lot of time monitoring our website traffic to make sure it didn’t crash during peak times. We’re well beyond that now—just a few years later. Thanks to Dynatrace we’re on a path of continuous improvement. We’re proactive. We are succeeding in engaging the hyper-connected customer and bringing incremental changes to empower them in new ways every day.”