Kmart exec outlines mobile commerce strategy
In an exclusive interview, a Sears Holdings executive discussed the mobile strategy for Kmart and the retail giant’s mobile Web sites and smartphone applications.
The recently launched Kmart2go application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch features 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.
Mobile Commerce Daily’s Dan Butcher interviewed Imran Jooma, senior vice president for online at Sears Holdings, Hoffman Estates, IL. Here is what he had to say:
What is Sears’ strategy behind the launch of the Kmart2go application for iPhone and iPod touch?
This launch is another example of our long-standing commitment to provide choice and convenience to our customers.
Whether it’s giving them the opportunity to shop online, in-store or through the Kmart2go application, our strategy is to empower our customers to shop how they want, when they want and where they want, helping them better manage their lives.
Kmart2go provides customers a fast, convenient way to shop while on the go.
This application has complete access to the full list of items and categories available on Kmart.com.
Customers can easily search, browse and buy directly from their phone, then have the order shipped to their door.
Using GPS or ZIP code features, customers can also find local store locations, hours and contact information, while leveraging search by keyword or category to find what they need fast.
The Kmart2go application showcases deals from the weekly ad, detailed item descriptions and individual product reviews and customer ratings for easy shopping.
Customers can also sign in with an existing Kmart.com account or by simply entering contact information one time, completing the checkout process in just a few easy steps.
This practical interface gives customers the ability to make the best choices on quality products and provides customers with leading online solutions to help meet their shopping needs.
How does the application fit into Sears’ and Kmart’s overall marketing and commerce strategy?
Overall, Sears Holdings is here to help customers shop with ease and convenience, while constantly evolving the online shopping experience, providing our customers the ability to “shop their way.”
Sears Holdings’ mobile commerce sites and marketing have used simplicity and utility as the hallmarks of the mobile experience.
The application layouts combine easy-to-read graphics with a clear interface and industry standard navigation and display.
Whether it is through our community site or new functionality such as Kmart2go, we continue to listen and gather customer feedback and act on that feedback by delivering solutions to help our customers manage their lives.
What is the target demographic?
We strive to empower customers all across the board, offering them choice in everything from product selection to purchase opportunities.
Whether they’re purchasing furniture, art, beauty products, clothing, appliances, electronics, sporting goods or shoes, customers across all demographics can browse through millions of products and now get exactly everything they need in an easy and convenient way.
How is Kmart getting the word out about this iPhone application?
We’re reaching out to customers via various social mediums, finding and connecting with our customers where they work and play, on Twitter and Facebook, but also through traditional public relations efforts, targeted print, online media and various other social mediums in an effort to reach and resonate with consumer and trade audiences.
Our mobile-optimized Web sites are also accessible from any mobile browser, which provide a call-to-action for customers to download our applications directly from the respective app stores.
Customers can download the Kmart2go iPhone application and the Sears2go iPhone application directly from a link on Sears or Kmart mobile Web sites.
Are there plans to roll this out to other smartphone platforms such as RIM’s BlackBerry, Google’s Android or Palm?
We’re constantly listening to our customers and act on their feedback to innovate and deliver solutions that provide a seamless online experience.
Sears Holdings’ mobile technology has led the way, with a stream of applications for existing platforms, and constant evaluation and development of apps and technologies for emerging and growing mobile platform choices.
Today, our suite of offerings includes mobile applications for the iPhone and Android platforms.
We entered the Android Market with the launch of our Sears2go Android app the beginning of January, enabling all the great capabilities of our Sears2go iPhone app for this platform.
Our mobile apps are a complement to our successful mobile-optimized Web sites that can be accessed directly on any mobile browser at Sears2go.com and Kmart2go.com.
Can you please provide a few examples of location-based and weather-based mobile offers?
Our weather-based application allows customers to see shopping content related to the weather they are experiencing in their immediate area.
Location-based deals are also built into the applications and highlight items specific to a customer’s respective region.
For example, customers in the New Orleans area will see Saints items, while customers in the Indianapolis area will have more prominent visibility to Colts items.
We’re providing our customers with the most relevant deals and coupons and making that functionality easily available at their fingertips.
In doing this, we’re providing customers value and making shopping easier, meeting all their needs and continuing to pave the way for future leadership.