Sears announced today that Acquity Group, a leading services firm that focuses on digital solutions, named Sears as an 'Overall Best-in-Class' company and 'Best-in-Industry' for the Department Stores/Mass Merchandise category in its Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Audit.
Sears' designation is a result of the Acquity Group's Mobile Commerce Audit of the companies named on the 2008 Internet Retailer 500 list. The purpose of the audit was to identify companies and industries that were leading the charge with mobile initiatives and concentrating on mobile development that allowed their Web site to be accessible via a mobile device.
"The Overall Best-in-Class companies are those who recognized a trend with consumers turning to their mobile devices for more and more information. Sears showed overall best adaptation of the mobile commerce initiatives that are most effective in communicating with a brand's audience," said Mark Rein, Director of Acquity Group's Retail Practice. "Sears should be commended for its leadership in developing an m-commerce strategy in a channel that, for the most part, is still underutilized today. Anyone who is not focusing on establishing an interactive presence on the Internet, as well as creating mobile initiatives that connect the brand to consumers in transit, are going to be left behind."
Launched in November 2008, Sears2go is the first on-the-go technology offered by a US retailer and pairs mobile commerce with Sears' best in class in-store pickup. Sears2go lets customers select products from a wide variety of categories, including apparel, electronics and computers, fitness and sports, jewelry, tools, toys and games with home delivery or in store pickup.
"Sears' commitment to innovation and providing its customers with new technologies led the company to develop an answer to on-the-go mobile technology with Sears2go. We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts by Acquity Group," said Don Hamblen, Sears' chief marketing officer. "Sears2Go allows our customers to find and buy select Sears.com merchandise from their mobile phone - making it just as easy as shopping online. Sears2Go is geared for mobile devices with an emphasis on speed, usability and security that our customers can use at the times that most fit into their schedules."
Sears2go is just one of the many ways Sears is making it more convenient for its customers to shop. Through its ShopYourWay multichannel shopping, customers can shop in-store, online, via catalogs, call centers as well as mobile. Mobile will continue to be a core component of the company's integrated marketing moving forward.
Sears has heard from many satisfied customers who are pleased with the convenience of an integrated, multi-channel shopping experience. One customer discovered this first-hand when a power outage left him at home in the dark. Yet even though he was without electricity, with Sears2go, he was able to purchase a generator from his mobile phone and restore power.
The Acquity Group Mobile Audit Methodology
As a leading provider of digital marketing, interactive design, content management solutions and IT planning services, Acquity Group has worked with many well-known retailers to extend and redefine their eCommerce capabilities for increased profits and efficiency. Since Acquity Group is currently developing mobile commerce initiatives for various retailers as well, the company wanted to obtain a better understanding of the current level of mobile deployment by industry.
Acquity Group looked at several metrics to determine the Top 14 companies, including their utilization of a .mobi top-level domain, mobile browser/device detection techniques, WAP-optimization, downloadable apps for various smartphones, and a mobile services landing page on the desktop site, among other factors. Acquity Group did not test for the native BlackBerry browser due to its expected poor performance, and instead tested against iPhone optimization and compatibility with microbrowsers. Microbrowsers would include Internet Explorer mobile & Opera for the smartphone.
"Sears performed very well across the board as well as in a very competitive industry, which was the Department Store/Mass Merchandise category," said Adam Boysen, Acquity Group Project Manager who spearheaded the Mobile Audit. "One key reason for Sears' 'best-in-class' recognition has to do with the device detection used to redirect users who are not familiar with the common 'm.' usage. The mobile site also rendered well in microbrowser & iPhone emulators and provided purchasing functionality not found on many other mobile sites. In addition, the breadth of their product catalog and inclusion of higher priced items on their mobile site really distinguished Sears as a leader in m-commerce."
The Department Store and Books, Music & Video categories were identified as frontrunners in mobile solutions, according to findings in the Mobile Audit. In many instances, a correlation could be made between the cost of the products sold and the adoption of mobile eCommerce as well, noted Boysen.
The other companies named to the Overall Best-in-Class list include: the MLB, NFL, NHL, Target, Dell, HP, Amazon, Playboy, Nike, Napster, 1-800-Flowers, Overstock and Disney.
To find out more about Sears2Go, text SHOP to 73277 or visit Sears2go.com on your mobile phone. Standard text messaging rates may apply.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fifth largest broadline retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has Martha Stewart Everyday products, which are offered exclusively in the U.S. by Kmart. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at www.searsholdings.com.
About Acquity Group
Acquity Group delivers award-winning, tailored solutions to elevate brands and businesses by maximizing the digital channel. Acquity Group's innovative strategy, marketing & design, IT planning, and commerce & content services are the cornerstone of effective digital communication for today's leading brands. Acquity Group is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Irvine, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Overland Park, KS; Scottsdale, AZ; and Dallas, TX. To define a unique perspective for your business, contact Acquity Group at www.acquitygroup.com.
About the Acquity Group Mobile Commerce Audit 2009
The purpose of the Acquity Group Internet Retailer 500 Mobile Audit is to identify companies and industries on the leading edge of mobile-commerce initiatives. Leaders were honored with the Acquity Group Mobile Commerce Overall Best-in-Class designation. Through an audit of all 500 companies, which looked at 10 different mobile-commerce criteria, Acquity Group identified the Overall Best-in-Class. These Best-in-Class businesses are on the cusp of the mobile transformation that promises to make shopping easier for consumers, at the convenience of their mobile device. All Best-in-Class companies are leaders in recognizing this trend and initiating mobile development accordingly. For more information on the Acquity Group Mobile Commerce Audit 2009, contact Adam Boysen at 312.427.0034.
First Call Analyst:
SOURCE: Sears Holdings Corporation
CONTACT: Regina Pelz-Westergaard of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR,
+1-847-286-8984, firstname.lastname@example.org, for Sears Holdings
Corporation; or Tom Aiello of Sears Holdings, +1-847-286-7387,