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Sears takes catalog merchandising strategy mobile

Sears Holdings Corp. has released its annual Tools Catalog for online and – for the first time – on mobile, with QR codes incorporated into the iPad version to take the retailer’s catalog merchandising strategy to the next level.

The enhanced catalog lets customers browse more than 1,500 items and 100 brands online at The Sears Annual Tool Catalog lets customers experience thousands of tools on-the-go with a PDF page turner available online and on the iPad.

“The mobile device can offer so much more than even a year ago, and codes can easily launch literally any action available,” said Mike Wehrs, CEO of Scanbuy, New York. “Marketers want to show more dynamic content like video and social networking, which can also be adjusted in real time based on deeper analytics like location or handset type.”

Scanbuy is a QR code specialist. Mr. Wehrs commented generally on the benefit of bar codes and not specifically on Sears’ use f them.

Sears was not able to meet the press deadline for this story.

Packed with codes
Seventeen QR codes are incorporated throughout the catalog to help consumers make smart purchase decisions based on their particular needs.

The Sears catalog uses QR codes to engage readers. For example the one above in the lower right corner of the page.

When consumers scan the code above, they are routed to a mobile Web site with different videos they can watch.

Here is the mobile Web site consumers are routed to

The codes connect consumers to how-to videos and product demonstrations, taking Sears’ merchandising and catalog strategy to a whole new level.

Codes connect shoppers with the Sears Tools Advisory. For example, videos of Chris Duke, host of Motorz TV and Tina Stull an NHRA Dragster Driver are part of the experience.

Additionally, video tutorials by real customers highlighting their favorite tools and how they like to use them are included as well.

Mobile strategy
The fact that the catalog is available on iPad means that a whole new audience of consumers are now able to access it.

The QR codes add to the catalog’s merchandising strategy, strategically connecting consumers with various products and using the value of site, sound and motion to influence purchase intent.

Video is becoming a crucial marketing tool for brands that want to influence purchase intent.

The fact that Sears is incorporating QR codes to add a video element to its print, online and iPad versions of the catalog shows that the retailer understands today’s consumers.

“We are seeing both large brands and thousands of small businesses embracing codes quickly,” Mr. Wehrs said. “We estimate that 25-30 million people in North America have now scanned a bar code.”