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New Associate Discount Points Program

January 19, 2017 by Leena Munjal
Our own associates are our most important ambassadors of the company and we need them actively engaging our members to win.  For that reason, we have recently made an  enhancement to our existing Associate Discount Program that will enable us to build a stronger relationship with our associates as members of Shop Your Way, offering them more value and more rewards while supporting our company goals. Our new Associate Discount Points Program will provide Shop Your Way points back on purchases in addition to any other Shop Your Way program points and perks, and also provide a new increased benefit for purchases of hardlines goods (from the existing 10 percent discount to 15 percent back in points). The new program benefits all active Sears Holdings associates, spouses and eligible dependents, effective Sunday, January 29, 2017. The new Associates Discount Points Program will enable our associates to take full advantage of Shop Your Way as we continue to expand our value proposition, including partnerships with Uber and ActiveHours, and the new 5-3-2-1 Shop Your Way offer associated with our Sears MasterCard. By increasing the richness of the discount on the hardline goods that represent two-thirds of our associates' spend, we believe that we will increase the engagement in Shop Your Way among our associates and create experiences that they can share with our members, while providing more value for them and their families. Overall, we believe our members realize more value by shopping with us through our Shop Your Way program, receiving points for future purchases; this will be the same for our associates. Our associates will see they get more value from the new Associate Discount Points Program than the former employee discount program. As examples:
  • An associate spending $500 per year and spending two-thirds on hardlines and one-third on softlines would have saved $66.60 under the prior program. Under the new program, that same associate would receive about $83 in points, a 25% increase in benefits, that could be used for future purchases.
  • Since it is unlikely that all purchases are made at the same time, an associate who purchased $333 in hardlines (the same as before) would earn $50 in points. Then, the associate could use the $50 in points to purchase $167 in softlines. Their overall cash out of pocket would be $333 + $117 = $450 and they would still have $33.30 left in points for additional purchases.
We recognize that this is a significant change for our associates and the leadership team appreciates the open dialogue we have with our associates about the benefits of the new program. As we’ve communicated in our internal forum, this program change is about walking our talk, and having our associates engage with and help shape the future of the company. We believe it will benefit them as shoppers and members, and by more closely connecting their efforts to the success of Sears Holdings. Leena Munjal is Senior Vice President, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail at Sears Holdings Corporation

Sears Brings Powerful Digital Innovation to Appliance Shopping Experience

May 12, 2016 by Leena Munjal and James Coyle
Our customers have told us that they like to start their product research online but they still want to physically interact with the products in our stores, especially for larger items such as appliances.  As the Foothills Mall in Fort Collins, Colorado was being redeveloped, we saw this as a great opportunity to continue to serve the community, but in a new way. We are opening a new free-standing appliance store, powered by all of our digital capabilities that make it possible for our customers to easily access tens of millions of items. This is at the heart of what we call Integrated Retail – which is basically bringing the best of both worlds together – the convenience of shopping online and the physical experience of shopping in-store. Ft. Collins, CO Sears Appliance store This new concept provides a great experience where our customers can not only explore all the products we have to offer but also interact with them virtually through our new Kitchen Creator. The Kitchen Creator is a 122-inch interactive digital display that shows how new appliances will appear in a full-size kitchen. Using a tablet, shoppers can select common kitchen layouts and appliances and customize the experience by choosing colors and finishes of cabinets and countertops. Sears Kitchen Creator #1Sears Kitchen Creator #2 Customers visiting the Fort Collins store have access to experts they can trust for great advice. Our associates take the time to understand what each customer is looking for, so they can help narrow down their choices and find product that’s just right for them. This store also has a new capability that we launched on sears.com last year called Meet with an Expert that gives our customers the ability to schedule an appointment with our in-store experts while they are shopping online. [caption id="attachment_2327" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Digital Signs in Home Appliances This store’s signage is completely paperless. We also have multiple large format digital signs throughout the store to inform our members of current specials and promotions.[/caption] Sears is the only retailer that provides all top 10 appliance brands, including the award-winning Kenmore brand, and is number one in Home Services. In the Fort Collins market, customers can expect the same full service on their appliances as they would at any other Sears location. Kenmore Pro in Ft Collins, CO With 74 percent of our sales coming from Shop Your Way® members, we wanted to bring added convenience to our members – more points, more value and more member-only services such as In-Vehicle Pickup and easy returns and exchanges. We will continue to listen to our members and evolve our current and future store locations to better serve them. Take a look at this video where you will see our new store concept come to life at the Fort Collins, Colorado location. Leena Munjal is SVP, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail at Sears Holdings Corporation James Coyle is President, Home Appliances at Sears Holdings Corporation

Sears and Kmart Help Members Embrace Their Mobile Lifestyle

December 7, 2015 by Leena Munjal
Whether at home or on the go, our members and customers use their phones to browse and research products, hunt for deals and make purchases. With this uptick in mobile usage, we recently updated our Sears and Kmart mobile apps. In the developmental stages of our mobile apps, we reached out to our member to understand what features would be important to them. Based off the information we received, we re-designed our mobile app experience. Our main focus was ensuring our apps provided our members and customers with features that made shopping with us more convenient and easy. I’d like to share some of the exciting new features we’ve introduced: Bluelight SpecialsBluelight Specials: In addition to re-launching Bluelight Specials in-store, we also have daily Bluelight Specials on Kmart.com and the Kmart mobile app. By downloading the Kmart mobile app and enabling notifications, you’ll be alerted immediately when a new Bluelight Special goes live. You can quickly purchase the special directly in the app. But you have to hurry, because these deals are so hot they don’t last too long! Mobile LayawayMobile Layaway: Layaway is important to our members year-round at Kmart and Sears. Make sure to check out the new “Layaway & Go” feature in both of the apps as we’ve made it even easier to put items on layaway. In the app, click on items you want from the comfort of your home or scan items while your in-store to start your layaway. Then make your down payment and all future payments directly through the app. Free Shipping from StoreFree Shipping from Store: Have you ever been shopping at one of our stores and can’t find the exact item or size you need? Look no further. You now have the option of finding an associate and ordering the item at a store kiosk or logging on to one of our apps, selecting the item and getting it shipped to you – free! In-Vehicle PickupIn-Vehicle Pickup: When you purchase an item online or on your mobile device we know you want to be able to pick it up fast and conveniently. Now, at every Sears store you can pick up your online orders without leaving your car. All you have to do is park your car in a reserved spot at our merchandise pickup area, open the Sears app, select “In-Vehicle Pickup” and the app will inform an associate you are at the store. We will deliver your purchases to your vehicle within 5 minutes or less — guaranteed — or you’ll receive a $5 coupon. Our members win either way. Mobile CouponsMobile Coupons: Who doesn’t like coupons and more savings? Sears and Kmart have not only made it easy to find deals and coupons within each of the apps through the “Coupon Center,” but they have also made it easy to apply those coupons. No more printing coupons or digging into your wallets to find the paper copy. Simply load the coupons you want to your Shop Your Way account with a tap of a button and they will automatically apply at checkout – no matter where you shop – through the app, online or in-store. Local AdsLocal Ads: Want to know what great deals your local store is offering? Simply open the Sears or Kmart app and check out your digital local ad to see what’s on sale. Do you like something you see in your local ad? Buy the item in-store or save yourself a trip to the store by buying it through the app with just a few clicks and have it delivered right to your home. I hope you are as excited about these apps as we are. For a limited time, as a special reward for Shop Your Way members who refresh the Sears and Kmart apps or for new members who download them, we are offering free points on your next purchase. For more details, download the Sears and Kmart apps directly from the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. We read and welcome your feedback…it’s one of the ways we ensure we anticipate and deliver shopping experiences that seamlessly fit into our members’ connected lifestyles. Leena Munjal is SVP, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail at Sears Holdings Corporation.

Sears Launches New Service to Connect Online Shoppers with In-store Product Experts

October 21, 2015 by Leena Munjal
Purchasing a new refrigerator, oven, or washer and dryer for your home isn’t something you do every day. With new features, new technology and new brands, you may feel overwhelmed as you begin your search for the perfect appliances. As the number one appliance retailer, Sears carries the top 10 brands and, as the home of Kenmore for over 100 years, we understand how our members shop for appliances better than any other retailer. Sears has made it even easier to research and buy an appliance by putting help literally at your fingertips. Meet with an Expert lets you schedule a visit with a knowledgeable associate in your local Sears store directly from sears.com as you’re researching online. When you show up for your scheduled visit, they will already know what you’re interested in and can help you narrow your selection and find the right product to fit your needs. Here’s how Meet with an Expert works:
  1. Visit sears.com, find an appliance you’re interested in and simply click on the “Meet with an expert in our store” link. Meet the Expert webpage
  2. Pick the store you want to visit and fill out some basic contact information so we can reach out to you.Meet in our Stores
  3. Select your preferred date and time to meet with an Appliance Expert. Schedule to Meet with an Expert
  4. A Sears associate will personally contact you to setup your visit and if your schedule changes, your Appliance Expert will help reschedule your visit.
  5. Simply show up at your selected Sears store at your scheduled time and your Appliance Expert will be ready to greet you and answer all of your questions.
Meet with an Expert in store At Sears, we want to make your purchasing process easier. We’re here to help you get exactly what you need. Give Meet with an Expert a try today; get expert answers and product insights with our best-in-class service. This brief video explains the process: For more information visit www.sears.com/expertadvice*

*This service applies to home appliance products within Sears Full Line Stores.

Connected Solutions Opens in San Bruno, California

June 25, 2015 by Leena Munjal
cs1It seems as if new technology is getting introduced every day and there continues to be newer ways to communicate with the world around us. Whether this technology makes our homes safer, more comfortable or more convenient, the latest in smart home products is changing how we live our daily lives. That’s why I’m pleased to announce the opening of our Sears Connected Solutions shop, a 4,000 square-foot Flagship experience center at the Sears store in San Bruno, California. This product experience demonstrates Sears’ commitment to helping improve the lives of you, our members, with a total package of home and personal automation products and services. cs2 The Connected Solutions shop in San Bruno offers a great experience where you can explore, learn and interact with connected products and see them working in the context of your home, before you decide the right fit for you and your family. Our associates are ready to partner with you to understand your needs, show you how the products work together, help you make informed purchasing decisions and instill confidence so you can install the products. Take a look at this video that explains our Connected Solutions shop. You can also experience the San Bruno Flagship experience center through Google Virtual Tour. We have also enhanced our website with the same products and solutions. The site features videos, images and tons of information to help you make the right decisions to fit your needs. We also currently have three 2,000 square-foot Connected Solutions shops in the Chicago area and plan to expand our product assortment to hundreds of additional Sears locations nationwide in 2015. I hope to see you soon in one of our stores or online where Connected Solutions is Smart…Made Simple. Leena Munjal is SVP, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail at Sears Holdings Corporation.

Shopping for Appliances Made Easier at Sears with Digital Product Signs

April 22, 2015 by Leena Munjal
At Sears Holdings, we continuously seek new ways to make shopping more convenient for our members. We also look for ways to reduce manual tasks by automating them for our store associates so they can spend more time assisting our members. Last year, we deployed new digital price signs in the Home Appliances department at more than 300 Sears stores. These digital signs ensure that our members not only get the most accurate pricing, but also more product information such as description, color choices, specifications, reviews and ratings. It also enables our associates to focus their attention on finding the right products and meeting the needs of our members rather than manually changing signs when prices fluctuate. There’s also a strong environmental impact. Last year, over 100,000 signs were replaced with digital signs (shown below) - allowing us to greatly reduce the amount of paper we use to print signs. [caption id="attachment_1126" align="aligncenter" width="782"]New digital signs New digital signs[/caption] Among the many benefits of this technology, we can now quickly change pricing to provide the best value or share helpful product information within seconds as members research top appliance brands we carry. Also, many of our products use digital tablets as price signs, allowing members to interact with the product like never before. Touching the tablet reveals additional colors, or more information on the product, like specifications and dimensions. [caption id="attachment_1127" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Product overview on digital tablets Product overview on digital tablets[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1128" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Product specifications on digital tablets Product specifications on digital tablets[/caption] Members can also read reviews on the products from others who have previously purchased the item. [caption id="attachment_1129" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Read product reviews on digital tablets Read product reviews on digital tablets[/caption] We also added a feature to enter your email address directly into the digital tablet and receive an email with the product you looked at in the store. That way, members can do more research at home and have the product information at their disposal. [caption id="attachment_1130" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Receive product information via email on digital tablets Receive product information via email on digital tablets[/caption] As we look ahead in 2015 we plan to expand these digital signs to Home Appliances departments in another 250 stores and continue to test in other areas of our stores like our shoe department. [caption id="attachment_1131" align="aligncenter" width="1015"]Expanding digital signs into our Shoe departments Expanding digital signs into our Shoe departments[/caption] Our focus continues to be to find new ways to make it easier for our members and customers to research products, regardless of whether they start their research online or in-store. We look forward to your interaction with this new integrated retail capability in our stores as we continue to find new ways to save you time and make your shopping experience more convenient. Leena Munjal is SVP of Member Experience and Integrated Retail.

Reserve It: Try it before you buy it.

November 17, 2014 by Leena Munjal
At Sears Holdings we are on a mission to making shopping more convenient for our members and customers. We continue to develop new and unique integrated offerings to help our members shop the way they want to shop. When it comes to shopping for clothes or shoes, fit is so important. Many online shoppers want to try an item on or see how it will fit before they purchase it. To that end, we are making shopping for clothes and shoes more convenient with our new Shop Your Way® member exclusive service called Reserve It. Reserve It is a free service that allows you set aside up to six items for 48 hours in our stores. Reserve It is great when you’re not sure which size you want; you can hold two sizes of an item and try them on before you buy. Or if you are short on time, you can browse items on sears.com, select multiple outfits and we’ll pull your size. When you arrive at our store, we’ll have your items set aside, ready for you to try on or purchase. We’re always working to create more convenient experiences for our members. With this new tool, you’ll never have to search for an item in the store again. Here’s how it works.
  • When browsing clothing and shoes on sears.com, select the Clothing or Shoes category. Then select your local store so you can see all the items available in your local store. Sears.com - reserveit
  • From here, you can filter by size, color or brand, to narrow down to the products that you are looking for.
  • Eligible items will have a “Reserve It” button right on the page.
  • Click the “Reserve It” button and you will be asked to log on or create an account. Reserve It is a Shop Your Way member exclusive so if you’re not a member you can quickly sign up; it’s free.
  • Select the color, size and the store where you would like the item to be held. Then confirm your information and click “Reserve Product.”
  • An email and a text message will be sent to you once your items are ready. Bring your confirmation email to the “Reserve It” area located in the women’s department to receive your items.
  • Your items will be tagged and held in the “Reserve It” area for 48 hours. RI_5_1
  • Once you’ve tried on your Reserve It items and have made your decision, proceed to the checkout line. A store associate will scan your confirmation email, which automatically populates your items, and select the items you are purchasing.
It’s that easy! As we have been testing this service we are already hearing great feedback from our members. Here are a few examples of what our members are saying:
  • “I absolutely love the new Reserve It option!!! It was so easy to pick what I wanted online and reserve it. Having it there ready for me in store to try on was the absolute best experience! So convenient I didn’t have to go browsing for a long time in store because I was able to do that online when I had time and lucky for me the shirt I reserved was the last one in my size! Will definitely use Reserve It again and recommend to everyone!”
  • I had two sizes reserved, one a large and one extra large. The large fit perfectly and I bought it.
  • “I reserved two pairs of boots …. I tried them on and bought one pair. Really great system.”
  • “It was very nice to be able to go right to the rack and find the things that I had reserved. “
To learn more about Reserve It, visit the Shop Your Way YouTube channel to: This is another way we’ve enhanced our members’ shopping experience to make it easy and seamless. For more information visit www.sears.com/reserveit. We look forward to seeing you online and in our stores as we continue to expand our integrated retail capabilities to save you time and make your shopping experience more convenient. Leena Munjal is SVP of Member Experience and Integrated Retail.

Expanding Curbside Convenience to Include In-Vehicle Returns & Exchanges

September 16, 2014 by Leena Munjal
With 60 percent of Sears online transactions being multi-channel in nature, annually we have millions of members and customers who take advantage of the Buy Online and Pick Up In Store service. Earlier this year, we launched In-Vehicle Pickup at Sears that makes the store pickup experience for online orders easy and more convenient. This Shop Your Way® member-exclusive curbside convenience allows our members to notify us when they have arrived at our stores through the Shop Your Way app, and wait in their vehicle while an associate brings them their purchased items. We received a tremendous amount of positive feedback. Here are a few comments from our members who used this service:
  • “The convenience of not having to park and walk into the mall is AWESOME!! I used the search features on your website to narrow my options and bought this microwave at 1am, this works for me!”
  • “This is amazing! The fact that I don’t have to lug my baby in the store to pick up one thing that’s already paid for. “
  • “The associate came looking for ME, rather than vice versa. That makes for a happy customer. Thanks!”
  • “It is unusual to have this level of customer service and efficiency especially in New York!!”
  • “I can get used to this. Feeling Spoiled.”
We also had a few members tell us they would love to see this capability expanded for returns and exchanges:
  • “Like the service. Can we do returns like this too? How terrific would that be .
We agree. Our member’s post-purchase experience is as important to us as their purchase experience. Returns and exchanges can be time consuming and a hassle but they don’t have to be anymore. By expanding our In-Vehicle Pickup service to include returns and exchanges, we are giving our members an easier way to return or exchange their online or in-store purchases – guaranteed in five minutes or less – without leaving their vehicle. Let’s say you bought a pair of shoes online and when they arrive at your home, you try them on and realize they don’t fit. Now you can go online, pick out a different size you’d like, drive to the store and we will bring the pair of shoes in size you selected right to your vehicle --- in five minutes or less! Here’s how it works:
  • Members can click on the Customer Service link on sears.com, choose “Return or Exchange in Five,” then follow the prompts to identify the return item. inv_re_1 inv_re_2
  • For an exchange, members can select a new item and when the replacement is ready for pickup, Sears will send an email confirmation.
  • Members then head to their closest Sears store, park in a designated In-Vehicle Pickup parking spot and use the Shop'In® feature in the Shop Your Way mobile app to let the store know they have arrived. inv_re_3inv_re_4
  • A timer will start on their phone and, within five minutes, a Sears associate will arrive and take the product you’d like to return, or bring the product you’d like to exchange. inv_re_5inv_re_6
Here’s a video that highlights the ease of this curbside convenience. This is just another example of how we are constantly innovating and adding benefits that makes shopping, and the post-shopping experience, more convenient for our members.

Expanding Free Store Pickup: Bringing Kmart to Your Nearest Sears Store and Sears to Your Nearest Kmart Store

July 8, 2014 by Leena Munjal
At Sears Holdings, we continue to look for more ways to make shopping easier for our Shop Your Way members and customers. We were one of the first retailers to introduce Buy Online, Pick up in Store over 12 years ago and we continue to introduce integrated offerings to help our members and customers shop on their own terms. Now we’re making it even more convenient by expanding our free store pickup to allow our members to pick up across both of our formats, Sears and Kmart, at more than 2,000 locations nationwide. This new service allows you, our Shop Your Way members and customers, to shop the endless aisles of products on sears.com and kmart.com and pick up your orders at either Sears or Kmart stores nationwide, ready in five minutes or less. Here’s how it works:
  • When shopping on sears.com and kmart.com, select your preferred location. Many items can be picked up at a Sears or Kmart store located near you. SP1 SP2
  • Place your order using free store pickup and select the location that is most convenient for you.
  • We’ll ship your item to the store and let you know when it’s ready.
  • Come in to pick it up, send a friend or family member to pick up, or if you prefer, we’ll bring it out to your car with our in-vehicle pickup option at select Sears locations.
  • No matter where you pick it up, you will have your product in five minutes or less from the time you arrive at the store.
This service is perfect if you need a variety of items that you can’t pick up from one store. For example, you see a great Craftsman tool set on sears.com but live right next to a Kmart store. You can have the tool set sent to the Kmart store and pick it up for free! Or you can order school supplies on kmart.com, have it shipped to your local Sears store and pick up your kids’ back-to-school outfits and school supplies all in one place. Here’s a video that illustrates the ease and convenience of free store pickup. This is another way we’ve enhanced our members’ and customers’ shopping experience to make it easy and seamless. This new capability comes on the heels of the in-vehicle pickup convenience we introduced earlier this year. We’re continuing to expand and build on these integrated retail capabilities, leveraging our stores and digital channels. Stay tuned. Leena Munjal is SVP of Member Experience and Integrated Retail.

Embracing Feedback to Deliver a Great Member Experience

July 2, 2014 by Leena Munjal
Every day I read comments and feedback shared by our members. From assistance they received from our store associates, to experiences with our service teams working in their homes, to interactions over the phone or online, our members provide thousands of pieces of feedback on a daily basis. Our commitment to continuously elevate the level of service we provide is rooted in listening to our members’ feedback so we can continue to learn and improve our services. These comments help us understand what’s working and what’s not, and help us identify initiatives to make the experience better, which include addressing a process gap, making system changes and supplementing training programs we provide to our front line associates. We view these responses with both pride and humility, always knowing there is an opportunity to innovate and progress. As we transform into a member-centric company, we have increasingly placed more importance on hearing from our members and acting swiftly based on what they tell us. We’ve built teams, systems and processes to make the feedback open and transparent, with the purpose of listening, understanding, sharing and taking action. As part of this process, we use Net Promoter Score® to focus on providing truly differentiated experiences which lead to more promoters of our brand. I’d like to share a few examples of how our members can provide us feedback and how we use that feedback. Every time you purchase merchandise from one of our stores (either Sears or Kmart), you will receive an eReceipt or paper receipt which contains a link for you to share your feedback with us. MF1.1 By clicking on this link, you can submit your feedback via a simple form. MF2.1 We ask a few simple questions to understand your shopping experience and you have the option to let us know that you’d like to be contacted if you need assistance. MF3.1 We immediately send your feedback directly to the store manager (as well as district manager and vice president for the region) and the store manager has 24 hours to respond. Many times members want to personally recognize an associate for great service, and yes, other times they are reaching out for assistance when we fell short. In both cases, the store quickly contacts the member and posts back to leadership about the circumstances, and the resulting actions taken. Here are a few examples of feedback direct from our members: MF4 MF5 And examples of when members are in need of assistance: MF6 Accountability is core to our culture. We continuously track and monitor how we’re doing to ensure that every time you interact with us, you have a great experience. Our in-home service technicians, online support and call centers follow a similar approach. Every time you contact our call centers through phone, email or chat, we follow up with an email to see if you’d like to share your feedback or need additional assistance. For each experience, your feedback is immediately routed to the associates and their leadership for review and response. We use feedback to help us make strategic investments as well. For example, in our Kmart stores, we recently used responses from our customers about opportunities to improve the checkout experience. We created a new position that was built with the sole purpose of ensuring the checkout experience was faster, more accurate and easier. We have seen improvement in the responses we’ve received since we made this change. Another example of how we use feedback is when we deliver products to thousands of members’ homes every day. Even though our goal is to make sure every single delivery is successful, a small percentage of deliveries don’t get completed on time. When this happens, we now assign a concierge who is in charge of contacting the member and staying connected with them until the delivery is rescheduled and successfully completed. We are in a unique position where we are able to serve our members through more channels– via online, stores, call centers and home. We have created a list of key experience imperatives at an enterprise level to ensure that every business unit is relentlessly focused on putting you, our member, at the forefront of decision making. I’d like to thank all of the members who have taken the time to let us know about a great experience you had shopping with us. Your comments make our day (and result in a lot of high fives!) If you have reached out to us because you experienced issues while shopping with us, I’d like to apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for giving us an opportunity to make it right. My commitment to you is that we will continue to listen and improve, because the experience of each and every one of our members matters. Wherever and whenever we have the privilege to see you that commitment will be put to the test.  I invite you to share your experiences with us through any of our feedback channels and let us know how we’re doing. Leena Munjal is SVP of Member Experience and Integrated Retail.

Connecting our Members with Thousands of Our Associates Across the Country

April 24, 2014 by Leena Munjal
With the goal to innovate around our members and customers, we are continuing to look for ways to provide them with the best possible solution to meet their needs. To accomplish this, we are building solutions that provide our members with information across any channel (stores, online, mobile) in order to assist them before, during and after their purchase. One of the needs we’ve identified is that our members want answers to a variety of questions. For example, “What treadmill should I buy that has the features I want and is within my budget?”, “How do I install my garage door opener?” or “What filter do I need for my Kenmore refrigerator I purchased four years ago?” We set out to address this need by maximizing our existing assets and capabilities, which include:
  • The extensive product knowledge of thousands of our store associates, as well as the personal experiences of the members of our Shop Your Way community.
  • Technology investments in our stores; our associates now have access to tablets and handheld devices that can easily receive these questions as soon as they are posted and respond.
  • The technology of our Shop Your Way online and mobile platform that connects our members with our associates.
By connecting these channels, we created the new Get Advice feature which gives our members a way to interact easily with thousands of our associates across the country --- in just a few clicks.   Get Advice is a tool that makes shopping easier for Shop Your Way members. A member can post a variety of shopping-, product- and service-related questions to the Shop Your Way community and receive advice from store associates around the country. And, Get Advice not only taps into the thousands of the Sears in-store associates, but also the millions-strong Shop Your Way community. Here’s how it works:
  1. Members can go to shopyourway.com and tap “Ask a Question” within the Get Advice section or directly from a shopyourway.com product page.MAGA_1
  2. They can then type their question and see if an answer pops up while they type.
  3. If an answer does not appear, they can simply follow the prompts to post their question. MAGA_2
  4. Once the question is submitted, they can start to see the answers flow in from our store associates across the country, as well as from members of Shop Your Way community. MAGA_3
  5. Members can review all the responses and then vote on their favorite answers.
Once a member determines the best answer to their question, they can chat with their favorite store associate directly using the chat capability available in theMember Assist feature within the Shop Your Way mobile app.  This way our members have easy access to expert associates anywhere and anytime, through shopyourway.com or the Shop Your Way mobile app. MAGA_4 You can view a video demonstration of the new Get Advice and Member Assist service innovations on the Shop Your Way YouTube channel. Real-time answers to members questions – whenever they want, wherever they are – is another way we are using technology to provide our members with the best possible integrated retail experience. Leena Munjal is SVP of Member Experience and Integrated Retail.

The Role of Technology in our Transformation

February 10, 2014 by Leena Munjal
As a 128 year old company, Sears has been a part of American life for generations. With the Sears Catalog, it was the nation’s pioneer in providing what we call today an integrated marketplace for everything from automobiles to fine china. But the retail landscape has changed significantly over the past decade. We are proud of our legacy but we also recognize the need to adapt, innovate and transform. Like many other things that have been impacted by emerging and mobile technologies, customers’ shopping behavior has dramatically changed in the past few years as well. Customers are more informed than ever. Access to product information is easy, comparing prices across retailers is a few clicks away and, researching products – and using that knowledge to influence their purchases – has become the norm. Mobile phones have made it even easier to get access to this information at the point of purchase. We saw this shift early on and understood how these changes could impact a traditional business model. That’s why we have been so focused on Integrated Retail, which means leveraging our strengths – our associates, physical stores, online and mobile capabilities, the Shop Your Way membership program, and a robust supply chain – to provide our members with the ease of shopping online and the physical aspect of shopping in store. Retail is a competitive business, impacted even more so by online-only retailers that don’t have fixed costs like traditional brick and mortar retailers do. They also have lot more flexibility with technology investments that enable them to execute a very dynamic business model without the constraints and challenges of legacy systems. We don’t think in terms of store investments versus online investments because in many ways one complements the other. Rather, investing in online allows us to bring those digital capabilities into our stores, and investing in our stores makes inventory and fulfillment options available to our members online. Our online and mobile investments are part of the shopping eco-system, with Shop Your Way at the core of the transformation. Transforming Sears Holdings from a company focused on running stores and selling products to a company focused on serving members across any channel (stores, online, mobile) is not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey. It’s also a challenge that many of us at Sears Holdings have taken upon ourselves and are excited to tackle. I am fortunate to work every day with a talented team that is creative, passionate and determined to figure out ways to provide our members with the best possible integrated retail experience in our stores. We have built or enhanced capabilities such as:
  • Buy online pick up in store;
  • Order in store and have it shipped to your home;
  • Return or exchange online and complete in store in less than 5 minutes;
  • And most recently, in-vehicle pickup which allows members to notify us when they have arrived in our stores through the Shop Your Way app, and wait in their vehicle while an associate brings them their purchased items.
We have lot more work to do but we are encouraged to see the growth in areas where we are investing. I look forward to sharing more with you as we build these capabilities. Our focus has been, and continues to be on what matters the most – innovating around our members and our customers. Leena Munjal is SVP of Member Experience and Integrated Retail.

Our Members and Our Stores

January 8, 2014 by Leena Munjal
blog_pic_leena As a company of more than 200,000 associates, working through a radical transformation of our business – centered on our Shop Your Way program and leveraging our Integrated Retail strengths – we know how important it is that we provide everyone who comes to our stores the absolute best possible experience. For quite some time, we’ve heard and read commentary about the condition of our stores. As much as we want to get every experience right, we know we are not perfect. However, make no mistake; we understand that in the hyper-competitive retail industry, when we aren’t perfect we have to get it right, and quickly. As the head of the Customer Experience and Integrated Retail teams for Sears Holdings, I personally get emails from Shop Your Way members when things don’t go as planned and I read through every single one of them to understand where we fall short. When it happens, there are two things we do immediately: First, we fix the issue for our customers and members as soon as possible, and second, we do a deep dive on the issue to understand the root cause and eliminate the reason for the failure so it does not have a negative impact on another member’s experience.  And in an effort to track our progress, our associates and our Shop Your Way members can post photos of every store location we have on ShopYourWay.com. We know of no other retailer in the world that does anything similar. Our stores remain very important to us as they are a key part of our Integrated Retail strategy.  People ask about our investment in our stores, so let me share a bit on how we are investing in the future and in the transformation of our company.  Store investment is important however, on its own, it is not sufficient to transform a traditional retailer into a retailer that’s more competitive in the 21st century. That’s why we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars enabling over half of our stores with technology and tools such as tablets and handheld devices. Not all of these investments show up on the capital expenditure line of our financial statements. More than half of Sears’ stores are equipped with WiFi, which allows our associates and our Shop Your Way members to get information not available in stores such as product reviews, product comparisons and digital content. This helps our associates provide our members with all the information they need to make an informed purchase decision without having to leave the store. Sears is an American icon and one of the country’s most storied brands. The men and women who are working so hard at our Sears and Kmart stores to help turn this business around are focused on getting it right. Our operational performance may have obscured the real traction we’re seeing in our Shop Your Way program and other aspects of our transformation, but it’s important for you to know that we are focused on improving the customer and member experience every day. Leena