The 2012 holiday season is expected to be a big opportunity for retailers, with retail sales expected to increase over 3% over last year. Though big box retailers have traditionally been slow to adapt to the mobile era, Kmart and Sears are nonetheless hoping to maximize sales during this period by updating old systems and offering modern options for holiday shoppers.
Layaway will not only be without fees between certain dates, but will also be available for online customers, who can then pick up items in-store or have them delivered to their homes. For in-store customers, Sears will be offering mobile POS devices so credit and debit card customers can make purchases without waiting in lines, with receipts available via email as well as the traditional printed option. In-store staff will also be equipped with tablets with which to check inventory, access product info and videos, and sell items available both in-store and online.
As we saw last year, the rise of Cyber Monday (and mobile’s role in both Cyber Monday and Black Friday) necessitates that retailers find innovative ways to keep up with digital shoppers. And focusing on customer preference leads the way to increasing sales, but the explosion of mobile and online sales during the holiday season last year point to driving sales with mobile marketing in 2012 being almost mandatory rather than cutting edge.
Do you think Sears’ new digital initiatives will be impactful this holiday season, or too little too late?