Neiman Marcus tests interactive iPhone app

Dallas -- Neiman Marcus said Thursday that it is testing a new iPhone-only app that allows customers to interact directly with their sales associates.

The new app, NM Service, is being tested in four stores this spring — in Austin, Texas; Dallas; San Francisco; and Palo Alto, Calif.

Developed by Signature, NM Service has two interfaces: one for customers and one for sales associates. The customer downloads the app from iTunes and opts into the service. In-store location sensors are installed at key entry points throughout the store.  If a customer with the app loaded passes within range, the sensor automatically prompts NM Service to act.

Once the app is engaged, customers will be alerted as to which of their preferred sales associates are currently in the store, as well as upcoming store events, new product arrivals and sales, and emerging fashion trends. 

Customers can also mark favorite products, which will automatically be visible to the customer's sales associates. The app allows customers to easily make appointments or leave messages for associates.  In addition, they will be able to scan QR codes on signs throughout the store to unlock the latest trends and product information directly on his or her phone.

The app provides associates with easy access to informative details such as Neiman Marcus store and purchase history and direct access to a customer's new favorite items.   Notifications automatically alert sales associates when their customer arrives in a store and provides a Facebook photograph so the customer can be easily recognized.

"For more than 100 years at Neiman Marcus, our belief in the importance of providing exemplary customer service has been a core corporate value,” said Jim Gold, president, Specialty Retail, The Neiman Marcus Group.

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