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Sears picks multiple mobile channels to enhance holiday marketing, commerce

Sears Holdings Corp. is using multiple mobile channels, from commerce-enabled mobile Web sites and applications to QR codes, to enhance its multichannel holiday marketing strategy and drive sales.

The mobile properties for Sears Holdings? retail chains include mobile sites and the Kmart2Go, Sears2Go and Sears Personal Shopper applications for multiple operating systems. This year, Sears has been making its catalog and Sunday circular print ads interactive by adding QR codes.

?We?re always listening to our customers via community sites, our own Web sites and Facebook, and we?re very committed to meeting their needs centered around choice, convenience and value,? said Imran Jooma, president of ecommerce at Sears Holdings, Hoffman Estates, IL.

?We want to let our customers shop whenever they want and however they want, and our customers are using mobile devices to shop,? he said.

Sears and Kmart up the ante on mobile shopping
Sears2go and Kmart2go applications for Apple?s iPhone and iPod touch and Google?s Android feature search, browse and buy functionality, deals and favorites sections, location-based and weather-based offers, a store locator using GPS or ZIP code, and sharing via Facebook and Twitter (see story).

Within the Sears Personal Shopper application, consumers can snap a picture of the desired product, send it to Sears? team of personal shoppers and then receive a notification via a phone call or email when the team has found the product (see story).

Sears Holdings? Kmart is turning to location-based mobile initiatives to encourage consumer loyalty and repeat purchases during the holiday season.

Kmart recently became a featured retail and product partner with the CheckPoints mobile shopping application.

The department store chain is offering incentives to consumers for checking-in to their stores and checking out specific products on their shelves (see story).

Sears? and Kmart?s mobile sites and applications featured the same Cyber Monday deals that were available on

The retail chains? Sunday circulars that appeared on Nov. 28 featured QR codes that consumers could scan to look at all of the deals available for Cyber Monday.

Sears and Kmart also included QR codes in their most recent catalogs, letting customers scan them to access extended product descriptions and other information on their mobile devices.

?We using mobile to bridge print to online and in-store to online, and all of those features are available on Sears2Go and Kmart2Go,? Mr. Jooma said.

Sears? location-based services help users get information such as store hours, find the nearest store location and access maps to get there as easily as possible.

The Sears and Kmart mobile sites and applications have another notable feature?buy online and pickup in-store.

?For busy customers on the go who need something now and want to avoid shipping fees, how convenient to buy using your mobile device and pick it up in store within five minutes,? Mr. Jooma said. ?We have a five minutes or less guarantee or you get a gift card.

?We?re offering deals through the mobile devices, LBS to find the store, QR codes, buy online using mobile device and pick up today,? he said. ?These are all of the things we?ve worked on this holiday season to make it very convenient for our customers.

?We?re very excited about what we?ve launched.?

Your wish is my command
Sears and Kmart have already seen strong early adoption of their various mobile features.

The Holiday Wishbook feature is available on mobile devices via Sears2Go and Kmart2Go, as well as and

Mr. Jooma said that Sears? mobile strategy starts with the notion of choice, and that he expects adoption of his company?s mobile features to continue to increase steadily.

Customers will continue to use their mobile devices in a variety of ways?to research items, browse products, find the nearest store and make purchases.

?We have to be where the customers are so they can have access to our brands wherever they want, however they want,? Mr. Jooma said. ?If they want to shop with the device in the palm of their hand, we have to be where the customers are.

?We?re seeing great growth of our mobile features and usage of mobile devices in general?we?re off to a great start,? he said. ?Whether on a community site or a mobile device, we want to make sure no matter how they want to shop or where they are, we offer the best-in-class platforms.

?Mobile is extremely important?we?re always listening to our customers and acting on their feedback, and if this is how they want to shop, we?re going to make sure we have the best possible experience for them.?

Final Take