Sears updates iPad offering

October 31, 2012  |  Russ Martin  |  Comments

For many Canadians, the holiday season begins the day the Sears Wish Book arrives in the mail. Now, with the launch of a new mobile catalogue, Sears is hoping to start the holidays the day the Wish Book update arrives on its iPad app.

Launched Tuesday, the Sears iPad catalogue is a update of the shoppable Wish Book app the company released last fall. After the success of that app, Sears has announced plans to release each of its major print catalogues on the platform, according to Graeme Hartlen, vice president of direct at Sears.

Hartlen explained users who download the app will receive a push notification each time a new catalogue update is available. In 2011, 50,000 consumers downloaded a dedicated Wish Book app – a big enough response to warrant a full catalogue roll out.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from customers, a lot of downloads and a lot of usage,” Hartlen said. Though Hartlen declined to comment on sales figures, he said the in-app purchase rate was significant. “We certainly saw an encouraging level of transactions last year,” he said.

Hartlen said customers use Sears mobile products to purchase lower cost items and to research big ticket purchases they plan to make at brick and mortar stores. The catalogue app is part of a larger digital and mobile strategy for Sears, which launched a mobile site and Sears-branded smartphone app earlier this year as well as a “look book” published in the iPad versions of magazines such as Flare and Macleans.

The app was developed by TC Media, which added new features for the 2012 Wish Book including bookmarks, easier sharing on social networks and pinch and zoom features that let users view items in greater detail.

Brady Murphy, vice-president of mobile strategy at TC, said iPad catalogue development has been one of the core focuses of  his company’s mobile department in 2012. The company is currently working on several catalogues for other clients which are slated to be released in the coming months.

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