Sears is Growing Socially
Listen to an in-depth interview with Eui Chung, divisional
VP and general manager for social commerce at Sear’s Holdings. See
the RetailWire Podcast below…
Holdings’ social media strategy can be described as an ongoing give-and-take
between the company and its customers. The company’s ability to engage its
customers is seen as one of the primary reasons behind the growth of its online
business, which consistently ranks among the top e-tail sites.
Eui Chung, divisional
VP and general manager for social commerce at Sear’s Holdings, told RetailWire, "That’s
one of the primary justifications behind the launch of My Sears Community back
in May of 2009. We realize the ability to interact with our customers
and receive their feedback is key to our goal of continuing to improve the
shopping experience for everyone."
Sears Holdings has a system in place
to respond to customers whether feedback comes from Facebook, Twitter, blogs
or any of its own websites.
"If a customer logs in to Sears.com, they have the ability to chat with
a personal shopper representative. They’ll be able to receive one on one customer
support which explains their situation with absolutely no character limits.
The conversation is private and we’re working to ensure the experience is personalized
and valuable," said Mr. Chung.
On outside sites, Mr. Chung said, Sears
Holdings’ "social media team typically
makes the initial outreach and then works with our customer network to ensure
the customer receives a resolution with a personalized point of contact."
immediacy of social media is another opportunity for connecting with customers
and effectively giving them some ownership of their relationship. "Whether
it’s a new feature for a website or a new slogan we’re considering, we need
social media channels to obtain feedback quickly from our customers," said
Mr. Chung. "As an example, we’ve actually had buyers overseas on buying
trips use communities to determine which products to put on our shelves for
the holiday season."
Sears’ ability to reach consumers is expanding as
more people use smart phones.
"We evolve with our customers’ needs," said Mr. Chung. "(With)
the opportunities in social media and mobile technology, it was natural that
we leverage it to offer our customers a choice in convenience and how and when
they want to shop and whether it’s in store or online. We see it as a tremendous
opportunity to move forward and a strategic part of Sears Holdings’ (marketing)."
Discussion Questions: What impresses you most about Sears Holdings’ approach
to digital and social media? Where do you see opportunities for improvement?