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Sears Canada continues holiday focus with new apps

Sears Canada has been building up its mobile repertoire this year to let consumers shop from their devices. With consumers expected to research, browse and shop from their handsets more this year, Sears Canada is smart to ramp up its mobile initiatives.

“Sears mobile Web and app offerings play a major role for Sears when extending Sears’ offline marketing initiatives online,” said Martin Routledge, mobile marketing specialist at Sears Canada, Toronto.

“Through the use of our iOS and Android apps customers can scan QR codes that link to informative and rich product pages on as well as link to seasonal fashion trend videos,” he said. “Mobile Web also improves our online marketing efforts by automatically linking smartphone browsing customers to our easy to navigate and quick-loading mobile Web site.”

Branded games
The Toy Chest iPhone app is available for free download from Apple’s Canadian App Store and is targeted towards children 2 to 5 years old.

Consumers who download the app can play three mini games that focus on skills such as memory matching. For instance, in one game users flip over cards over to find similar pairs.

The games are also branded with the Sears Canada logo splashed across pages.

The app is being promoted on Sears’ Web site with both a call-to-action that links to the App Store and a QR code that users can scan to download the app.

Mobile wish list
Earlier this year, Sears Canada announced that it would be updating its Wish List iPad app later in the year to prepare for holiday shopping (see story).

The updated app is now available for free download and lets consumers shop the company’s Wish List catalog pages.

New features include a streamlined navigation and browsing experience and a responsive pinch-and-zoom function.

Users can also share individual content and their wish list over email, Twitter and Facebook.

This year’s version of the app has also been cut down to 50 megabytes of content and can be downloaded over Wi-Fi.

In April, Sears Canada rolled out Android and iPhone apps that let users both shop online and navigate the in-store experience. The apps include mobile-exclusive deals that gives users an incentive to use the app regularly (see story).

“Sears already launched great mobile shopping apps for Android and iOS earlier in 2012, and we really wanted to focus on delivering a rich catalogue shopping experience that a smaller screen simply couldn’t do,” Mr. Routledge said.

“The larger iPad screen allowed us to really deliver an enhanced browsing experience and easier shopping experience as well as offer some amazing digital enhancements like social and email sharing,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York