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Kmart, Sears anticipate holidays with app updates and in-store deals

Kmart and Sears are ramping up their Shop Your Way membership program with holiday-time deals and mobile application updates.

The mobile innovations include a new feature in the Shop Your Way app called Shop’In that lets consumers check-in at a store to browse merchandise, sales and coupons. The retailers are also waiving layaway service fees, offering a Pay in Store feature online and providing free in-store pickup.

“Our Shop Your Way members and customers want a shopping experience that combines the physical world of shopping with the digital world of ecommerce,” said Imran Jooma, executive vice president and president, marketing, online, pricing and financial services at Sears Holdings, Hoffman Estates, IL.

“The largest growth of our online sales has come in multi-channel transactions, which make up half of our online business and we know that mobile is the glue to the in-store and online shopping experience,” he said.

“That’s why we are committed to being a leader in integrated retail and we are continuing to transform the customer experience through our integrated retail strategy – offering shopping experiences in-store, over the phone, online, through mobile applications or social media channel.”

Shop your way
The Shop Your Way app lets consumers search for products, find deals and manage rewards. Consumers can also explore comments and recommendations from their friends.

Additionally, consumers can chat with friends or store personnel to get shopping advice. Consumers can also create and share personalized catalogs.

The Shop Your Way app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

With the new Shop’In feature, consumers will be able to save more during the holiday season. They can check in to a local Kmart or Sears to unlock personalized deals and offers.

Kmart will also be featuring artists Nicki Minaj and Adam Levine in the Shop Your Way app, allowing consumers to engage in interactive content social experiences and special promotions. The artists will also be showcasing collections at Kmart stores and online.

Beyond the mobile updates, Kmart and Sears will also be appealing to holiday shoppers with waived layaway fees. Fees will be waived through Nov. 23 at Kmart and Oct. 25 through Nov. 25 at Sears.

Consumers will also be able to reserve items online and pay in-store, or they can pay online and save on shipping fees by picking up in-store.

Additionally, Kmart will offer a lease-to-own program through Whynot Leasing, LLC starting Nov. 22. The program gives customers a no credit-required way to take home products right away.

Both Sears and Kmart will also offer exclusive deals, including family and friends sales and gas savings offers from Kmart.

Mobile holidays
Kmart and Sears are known to roll out big holiday mobile efforts.

Last year they armed store associates with both mobile point-of-sale devices and tablets to help prepare for the flood of in-store holiday shopping (see story).

They also encouraged some last-minute holiday shopping with a convenient way to buy gifts on mobile and a special gift of up to $10 in points (see story).

The year before that, Sears improved its mobile site just in time for the holidays (see story).

Kmart and Sears both recognize the importance of attracting consumers during the holiday season, and in-store mobile offers are a great addition to their mobile repertoire.

“Throughout the season, you will see ways that Kmart and Sears will deliver holiday in a better way – that means more conveniences, integrated retail shopping options, better deals and more rewards for our Shop Your Way members and customers,” Mr. Jooma said.

“The holidays will be especially rewarding for the tens of millions of Shop Your Way members who make up 60 percent of our transactions and sales,” he said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York