Private equity firm Apollo Global Management will take Rackspace private in the all-cash deal.
For a second time this year, the e-commerce site gets a new look.
For the second time this year, Sears.com and Kmart.com have a new look.
This time that revamp starts with a new logo for Sears and Kmart, which, for the time being, is being used only in marketing materials and online. The retailers will continue to use their old logos for in-store signage and installation, says a Sears Holdings Corp. spokesman. Sears Holdings Corp. is No. 8 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
The main change to the site involves the increased focus on user-generated content on category pages. On the right column of every category page the site features the top-rated products in the particular category, related discussions from the MySears community, related services available from the Sears Blue Crew, which provides household and product repair services, and product manuals.
“Our goal is to provide unbiased opinions and help build consumers’ confidence in their purchases,” says Imran Jooma, senior vice president and general manager of e-commerce.
On category pages, shoppers can view products in a gallery, package or list format. Consumers can narrow their search by clicking on images at the top of the category page, such as “twin,” “full,” “queen,” “king,” and “California king” on the mattress category page.
When a shopper clicks on a category, such as “full,” she is taken to a page with a gallery view, as well as options on the left navigation bar that let her further narrow her selection, such as by brand, rating and when the item can be delivered to a consumer in the shopper’s ZIP code. The drill-down choices continue with the option to choose to shop from Kmart.com, Sears.com or outside merchants that sell through the Sears Marketplace that Sears introduced last year.
The site no longer features the six ever-present expandable icons that first appeared on the site in February: a mini-cart, profile, wish lists, recently viewed items, personal shopper and a toolbox that consumers could use to customize the site. That’s because Sears sought to simplify the consumer shopping experience, eliminate redundancy and make it easier for consumers to find each feature, says Jooma.
For instance, the shopping cart now resides next to the search bar. Based on usability testing and MySears community feedback, that location is where shoppers are more accustomed to seeing it, says Jooma.
At checkout, consumers can select to have the item shipped to them, to a store, or, in some cases, delivered via the retailer’s MyGofer service, which enables consumers to order groceries and other products online for pickup at Kmart stores or for home delivery in some areas.
The retailer also has launched Shop Social, a beta microsite that allows consumers to follow fellow shoppers, see ratings and reviews and create a public profile.
When a consumer views any product in Shop Social, she can click that she Likes it, Dislikes it, Wants it, Owns it, or will Share it on various social networks or e-mail.
“We’re seeking to leverage this data any way possible,” says Jooma. “You have to be where your customers are. Sometimes they’re on Facebook, sometimes they’re on Twitter, and sometimes they’re on Sears.com. We want to offer a seamless, integrated experience, wherever they are.”
That’s in line with Sears’ overall goal to enable consumers to shop however they want, he adds.
“Whether they’re shopping online, in our stores or on their phone, our intent is to empower the shopper to shop how they want, when they want and where they want,” he says. “That’s why we are constantly innovating to meet their needs and have an integrated experience that is focused around offering consumers convenience and choice.”