Nordstrom announced a spectacular anniversary sale some time ago, giving you the opportunity to buy heavily discounted products between July 20th and August 5th. And what’s more, VIP customers get early access!! Isn’t that great! What a way to treat your most loyal customers to get the ‘red carpet’ treatment before the rest of the population kicks in. Who doesn’t want to get discounted, new arrivals before anyone else on the street gets them?

Twitter reactions on the ‘sale fail’: if on mobile: please tap to zoom in

Yeah.. that’s all nice and stuff, until you have a ‘sale fail’ at the moment suprème. Apparently – judging from these angry tweets – they had a technical failure that caused a lot of people to get locked out the sales system. The most striking quote for me is:

“Nordstrom… I just want to give you my money. Get this error fixed. I need my clothing fix.”

There is nothing to add to that beautiful tweet, because it so magnificently shows how people are fully aware they are part of the commercial ‘merry go around’, but got let down in a real moment that matters.

The lesson from this Nordstrom error

The lesson? Simple: when you plan an event like this and are about to treat your most loyal customers to show you really care for them, make sure everything ‘below the water’ (technology, processes, infrastructure) is in place and is properly working. Not fulfilling that requirement might lead to fans dropping out, and that’s the last thing you want in creating an engaging brand experience.

PS. In all fairness, I do have to point out that Nordstrom is fixing their mistake by offering Nordstrom card members 10 points per dollar spent, showing goodwill and clearly admitting their error. That speaks for them and their willingness to be honest about the situation. Probs for Nordstrom! However, it’s doesn’t take away the essence of the article above.