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Sears expands mobile commerce strategy with personal shopper app

The product is packaged with the tagline “Snap. Send. Success!” Within the 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.

“[The application] is part of our bigger Shop Your Way strategy to provide customers with the ability to shop how they want, when they want and where they want,” said Imran Jooma, senior vice president for online at Sears Holdings, Hoffman Estates, IL. “We will continue to adopt new technologies like this to improve on Sears’ best-in-class mobile commerce platform.”

Sears is one of the nation’s largest retailers, with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada.

Mobile convenience
Sears said that during the Black Friday weekend it saw a rise in mobile shoppers.

While the retail giant is not releasing official numbers for a few months, it did say that its multichannel offerings saw a significant increase in usage over last year. Sears currently has a Sears2go application and mobile site (see story).

The new application brings an interactive human element to the mobile device.

Additionally, the application features an option to call in a shopping request rather than send a photo.

This feature lets customers get personal attention and service from a personal shopper agent who will help them locate their desired product whenever and wherever they think of it.

“After the successful launch of Personal Shopper on we saw a need for customers to access these personal shoppers via their mobile devices which was not possible until now,” Mr. Jooma said. “However, we one-upped our online offering by utilizing the photo functionality of mobile devices to make the app even more useful and versatile for customers.”

Mr. Jooma said the target demographic of the application is the iPhone user.

Sears said taking the power of mobile shopping and combining it with the convenience and immediacy of in-store pick up will help a lot of last minute shoppers this holiday season.

The application is being promoted through online advertising, mobile banner ads and social media.

“Today the National Retail Federation announced that Americans have completed less than half of their holiday shopping,” Mr. Jooma said. “Our intent is to empower them with this new technology and service so they don’t have to compromise on getting the ideal gift, even though it is last minute.”