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Sears boosts St. Patrick’s Day anticipation with in-app instant win game

Sears is tapping into the luck of the mobile application this St. Patrick’s Day by introducing a themed instant win game for Shop Your Way members.

Sears mobile app users belonging to the brand’s rewards program, Shop Your Way, will be able to engage in some pre-St. Patrick’s Day fun by playing the Pot O’Gold instant win game on their smartphones through March 20. However, while the game was likely rolled out to fuel more in-app engagement, it remains to be seen if customers will respond positively to the new offering.

“We recently surveyed retailers about their mobile plans, and across the board, branded apps that contain games are one of the least interesting mobile options available to them,” said Steve Rowen, managing partner at Retail Systems Research.

Luck of the Irish
To participate in the St. Patrick’s Day-themed instant win game, Sears customers can open the retailer’s mobile app and scroll down the homepage until they see a banner ad promoting the contest. After clicking on it, users will be prompted to verify their status as a Shop Your Way rewards member by logging into their accounts.

Then, game players will be presented with a slew of Sears appliances and gadgets, ranging from prices between $50 and $200. Users must choose which item they would like to win, and click on it.

The instant win game will bring entrants to another page featuring a green spinning wheel. Consumers can press the stop button at any time, which will force the wheel’s arrow to slow down and point to a lucky shamrock, rainbow, pot of gold or “sorry” panel.

If the arrow lands on the shamrock, pot of gold or rainbow, individuals will be brought to another landing page displaying their prize. Grand prize winners will receive the gadget or appliance they selected during the first part of their game. First and second prize winners will receive 2,000 and 1,000 Shop Your Way rewards points, respectively.

The rewards points prizes must be redeemed within 14 days, or they will expire.

Players can use one entry each day, up to the contest’s commencement on March 20.

“We’re committed to continuously improve and enhance the Sears app with new features our members use and enjoy,” said Leena Munjal, senior vice president of customer experience and integrated retail at Sears Holdings. “Sweepstakes and instant win games are a popular part of our Shop Your Way experience, so it was only natural that we create a way for members to enjoy that via the Sears app.

“The Pot O’ Gold game is a timely, fun, daily chance for members to win points and prizes.”

Building on customer savviness
Sears has become increasingly more customer-savvy in its mobile initiatives recently, likely in a bid to keep online and mobile sales high as bricks-and-mortar traffic slows down.

The retailer fueled more downloads of its mobile app during the holiday season by asking in-store shoppers to enable location settings on their smartphones, select and pay for out-of-stock items within the app and receive complimentary shipping (see story).

Additionally, both Sears and Kmart recently updated their apps with the ability to receive alerts on specials before they are available more broadly and scan in-store items to check online inventory, highlighting how retailers can leverage mobile to provide added value to loyal shoppers (see story).

While in-app gamification is a controversial topic for some retailers, leveraging a holiday-themed instant win game is an optimal way of ensuring that Shop Your Way members return to the Sears app on a daily basis and keep track of their accumulated loyalty points.

Mobile gamification is typically better-received when the strategy is centered around major events.

“Sears is either way ahead of the curve here, or swimming in water that no one else wants to swim in,” Retail Systems Research’s Mr. Rowen said. “It will be very interesting to see how it fares.”