January 15, 2008, 12:00 AM

Sears.com`s store pick-up delivers—literally—for shoppers, Sears says

Sears.com`s store pick-up service for online orders not only promises orders will be ready within five minutes of when a shopper arrives at the store, it will also bring the order to the customer`s car—even though that results in less in-store sales.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief


Sears.com`s "Ready in 5, Guaranteed" store pick-up service for online orders not only promises online orders will be ready within five minutes of when a shopper arrives at the store, it will also deliver the order to the customer`s car-even though Sears gets extra sales from customers who come inside the store to pick up their orders, Jeff Roesch, vice president of IT at Sears, Roebuck and Co., said at the National Retail Federation`s 97th Annual Convention and Expo in New York.

"We come out to the car when they call us on their cell phone as they pull up to the store," said Roesch, who spoke during a session entitled "Reinventing Retail-Lessons Learned from the Technology Industry." He added, "25% of the Ready in 5 customers who come into the store buy more products, but we want to make it as easy as possible for online shoppers."

Sears, which runs its online order, store pick-up program on an IBM WebSphere Commerce platform using MQ messaging technology, considers the service-oriented program as just one of several steps it`s taking to improve the online customer`s shopping experience, Roesch said.

In another effort, Sears has extended a virtual model program initially designed to help online shoppers see how apparel items and outfits appear on a computerized model based on the shopper`s personal dimensions. The virtual model program, using technology from My Virtual Model Inc., is now also offered on Sears.com under a Sears Virtual Decorator feature that lets shoppers configure plans for areas of their homes, including kitchens, bedrooms, garages and laundry rooms.

Sears has also added to its virtual model program an e-mail-a-friend feature to take advantage of social networking. "The big idea is not just to let shoppers customize a room, but to let them share it with friends," Roesch said.

Sears is No. 7 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.



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