News Feature | February 12, 2014

Sears Furthers Omni-Channel Initiatives With Curbside Pickup

Source: Retail Solutions Online
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By Anna Rose Welch, Editorial & Community Director, Advancing RNA

Consumers choosing to order online can have goods delivered curbside in five minutes or less

Sears has made another addition to its omni-channel offerings to cater to Shop Your Way members in a rush. The new service allows loyalty members to select curbside pickup for goods they order online. And for an added bonus — they’ll get the items in five minutes or less upon arrival at the store. Online shoppers that make a purchase online are directed to specify in-vehicle pickup during the checkout process. From there, they provide the store with details about their vehicle, sign into their Shop Your Way mobile app and enable location services before leaving for the store. Once a customer arrives at the store and parks in the designated pick-up location, a timer will start on the phone (through the recently launched Shop’In app feature) and within five minutes, an associate should be there to deliver the goods to the customer’s car. (Learn about The Journey From Brick-And-Mortar To Online Retailer at Footwear etc. in this ISR Magazine article.)

Leena Munjal, senior VP of member experience and integrated retail, says that this new offering is an extension of their “Free-Store Pickup — Ready in 5” guarantee. The company has been putting big bucks into its omni-channel initiatives recently (and has been taking some flak for it because of what critics say is CEO Lempert’s oversight of the company’s struggling brick-and-mortar stores in favor of digital investments). However, with this launch, it’s clear the company plans to stick with omni-channel investments to keep making shopping as convenient as possible for customers in all channels. Of course, the company expects the offering will only become better in time and with more feedback from customers. Munjal says that as soon as the curbside pick-up is complete, customers can and should provide feedback on the service through the app so that the company can keep making enhancements to all of its channels.

Indeed, one of the latest enhancements for the mobile channel was the launch of the Shop’In feature on the Shop Your Way mobile app. This newest feature, which became available in November right before the holiday season, is the company’s foray into the up and coming personalization fad. Members using the app can unlock special deals and offers through this feature. Customers can gain access to early holiday deals; earn up to 20 percent in savings or points, e-coupons, or hyper-local deals; and get personal shopping advice from friends and other members of the Shop Your Way community. As Imran Jooma, EVP and President of marketing, online, pricing and financial services, says, “Shop’In connects members with the added benefits of instant access to deals and e-coupons, special pricing, and members-only perks — all from a mobile device.” As more consumers keep their eyes glued to their smartphones in-stores and out, Sears aims to reach out to consumers in this increasingly important mobile channel. However, with the launch of this new curbside pickup, it seems Sears is also dedicated to keeping the store and its associates a relevant part of a customer’s shopping experience. (Learn how eCommerce Is Much More Than Just A Channel in this article from ISR Magazine.)