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Sears texts shoppers when reserved products are ready to try onBy
Sears is using text notifications to bring even more convenience to the rush of the holiday season by alerting consumers participating in its new Reserve It service that their desired apparel and footwear items are available to be tried on in-store.
The Reserve It service allows members of rewards program Shop Your Way to browse online, select desired items to be placed on hold at a local Sears store and try those items on once they arrive in-store. Sears claims that the service combines the digital ecommerce world with in-store shopping, a combination that its guests are likely to appreciate.
“Reserve It is yet another shopping convenience in a series of innovations we’ve introduced since last year that will save time for our members this busy holiday season as they shop for gifts, clothes and shoes for themselves and their family,” said Leena Munjal, senior vice president of Sears Holdings, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Shop Your Way members can access the service by logging onto their accounts on Sears.com and choosing their local store. After that action has been completed, all searches for products will show in-stock inventory at that particular store.
The guest can click on the item they would like to place on hold, select the style and size, and then hit the “Reserve In Store” option. Customers will receive a text notification on their mobile devices when the item is ready to be tried on.
For those who prefer not to receive texts, an email notification is also available.
Sears is looking into expanding reserving options to mobile
When the consumer arrives at a Sears store, he or she will find the item personally labeled and ready to be tried on immediately. The Reserve It rack can be found in the apparel section, and puts reserved clothing and apparel on hold for 48 hours.
“A perk like this has the potential to make the holiday shopping season more efficient and productive,” said Esha Shah, manager of mobile strategy and innovation at Fetch, San Francisco. “The retail industry needs more services such as these that connect the online and offline shopping experience.
“Department stores can definitely benefit from offering such a service – especially ones with high app user base. Brands with a high app user base demonstrate shoppers that are technologically inclined and open to trying new things.”
Holiday commerce options
Reserve It is the latest service Sears has introduced to drive holiday commerce sales and increase convenience for shoppers during this busy season. The retail brand rolled out In-Vehicle Pickup, Return and Exchange in Five in September, a service designed to enable Shop Your Way members to pick up, return or exchange Sears purchases for free from the warmth of their vehicle in five minutes or less (see story).
The brand is also offering Expanded Free Store Pickup, a collaboration with Kmart that allows guests to pick up kmart.com or sears.com purchases at any of each other’s brick-and-mortar stores. This gives an even wider audience of consumers the ability to buy Sears products as holiday gifts and pick them up regardless of their geographical location.
Consumers will benefit from efficient shopping options in-store and online
The Shop Your Way mobile application connects customers with local store associates, should they have inquiries about any items. Sears believes that its rewards program members will enjoy the Reserve It service and that it will augment customers’ shopping processes.
“We’ve been testing the service in our stores for some time before our national rollout and already the feedback has been very positive,” Sears Holding’s Ms. Munjal said. “We’re hearing from members that they love the flexibility of shopping on their own terms, and having the convenience of picking out the items online before they arrive at the store.
“We’re also hearing from moms who say that Reserve It is convenient, easy and fast, and will save them a lot of time, especially around the holiday season when time is such a commodity.”
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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