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Sears ensures shoppers will not miss out on sales with mobile rewards

As Sears begins to scale back its bricks-and-mortar presence – closing more than 75 stores throughout the country – the retailer is making use of its rewards points app, to give customers an incentive to keep spending with Sears this holiday season.

To do this, the retailer is introducing the Sears Holiday Guarantee. This initiative gives customers Shop Your Way points if an item they bought from Sears has its price reduced after it has been purchased.

“Our goal for the holiday season – and year-round – is to make it easy for members to shop wherever and whenever is most convenient for them by offering a wide range of integrated retail services,” said Joelle Maher, president and chief member officer for Sears. “Sears was a pioneer of Buy Online Pickup In-store more than 15 years ago, and since that time we’ve seamlessly built a connection between in-store, online and mobile shopping experiences for Shop Your Way members and customers, including: In-Vehicle Pickup, Return and Exchange in Five (at all Sears stores); Free In-store Shipping; Meet With An Expert; Anyone, Anywhere Pickup and more.”

No regrets
Sears shoppers will soon be able to get some of their holiday shopping done with Sears Days Lowest Prices of the Season event.

During this event, shoppers will see discounts on a large variety of items available from Sears. But with prices changing every day, customers may be left in the annoying situation of purchasing something, only for its price to be lowered soon after it has been bought.

To alleviate this occurrence, Sears is working with Shop Your Way to give Sears customers the difference between their original purchasing price and the new lower price in Shop Your Way rewards points.

Any item that is purchased on the evening of October 16 is eligible for the promotion. If its price is reduced anytime after that through Christmas Eve, the difference will be credited to the consumer’s Shop Your Way account January 16 of next year, with a limit of $100.

Loyalty and rewards
Shop Your Way, which is owned by Sears, has made partnership with other traditionally non-mobile or rewards-oriented brands in an effort to bring its loyalty-centric business model to other areas.

The most recent of these partnerships was one with ridesharing service Uber that let users earn small amounts of Shop Your Way points for every Uber ride that they took (see story).

Ridesharing apps have not traditionally dipped their toes into loyalty or rewards points, which have usually been the domain of large retailers. Shop Your Way’s partnership with Uber, which crossed over with retailers by letting users spend the Uber-earned points at places such as Kmart and Sears, suggests that a universal rewards points system can be applied in a number of unconventional ways.

Rewards points and loyalty systems tend to follow a fairly standard path. Customers make purchases from a store and earn points, which can be used to make more purchases from the store.

Target exemplified this trend with a recent pilot of its Cartwheel program, which gave consumers a list of products to choose from once they had reached a certain milestone of purchases made through the retailer (see story). While effective, this program was similar to the way loyalty points have been used for years.

Sears’ Holiday Guarantee represents another out-of-the-box use of rewards points – as a way of recouping lost money after a mistimed purchase.

“We’re always looking to bring meaningful benefits and promotions to our members, and that will continue through the holiday season,” Ms. Maher said. “For example, Shop Your Way just released a new Win It! app that allows members to spin daily to win Shop Your Way points and customized prizes.

“While shopping for their favorite brands, members are able to add products from thousands of merchants that they would like to win. Members can win up to 10 prizes daily and even earn access to exclusive deals and product offers.”