How a 100 Year Old Company is Reinventing Itself – With a Mobile App

Sears Shop Your Way

Over the past 100 years or so, Sears has seen a lot of changes. The company, originally founded in 1893, has weathered the Great Depression, two World Wars and a business landscape that has been drastically changed by cultural shifts and technological developments.

In 2015, they announced their latest change – news that more than a third of their online traffic had been done via a mobile phone. This is no small change for a company that began showing its wares through thick catalogs that became a part of American pop culture.

But as times change, so do the ways companies interact with their customers. The enthusiasm Sears has shown for its mobile app and interactive loyalty program is a great example of this.

Sears Roebuck Reserve It Associate

A Sears associate stocks the Reserve It rack with customer merchandise requests made through Shop Your Way. Items are reserved for 48 hours. (PRNewsFoto/Sears, Roebuck and Co.)

 

Their program, called Shop Your Way, encompasses all of the Sears stores, including their flagship department stores as well as through their partners which include other big names in the retail industry including K Mart, Home Depot, Land’s End and Target. This integrated approach makes their loyalty program more appealing to customers who want variety and flexibility, something the Shop Your Way program has excelled at.

The mobile app for the Shop Your Way program offers a wide range of features, making shopping easier and more accessible for users at home and in the store. Some of the new features they rolled out in 2015 include

  • In-store options to have items shipped for free when the size, color or style isn’t available as customers are shopping
  • Layaway features so customers can start a new layaway contract and make payments direct through the mobile app
  • Surprise bonus points awarded to customers randomly which can be used for their most relevant purchases
  • Exclusive access to celebrity lines before they are released to the general public
  • Personal shoppers who can offer advice on what to buy or who can even do the shopping on behalf of customers

These features, among others, have created a new buzz around the Sears brand. Customers are offering feedback and Sears is responding.

Leena Munjal, the Senior Vice President for Customer Experience & Integrated Retail with Sears reports that the company understood that 2015 would be the most connected shopping season yet. Many of the features were developed with that customer need in mind – a strategy that has paid off.

While Sears doesn’t disclose any future plans for mobile and online marketing in 2016, Munjal confirmed that mobile apps and integration will “continue to be a key component in how we continue to serve, delight and engage our members while they shop their way.”


About the Author

Ryan Gerardi
Creative, resourceful, and resilient B2B sales and marketing technologist who works with people and businesses on a variety of levels to help elevate their game, their brand, and their businesses.