In October, Sears Canada To Try New E-Commerce Tactic

Written by Evan Schuman
June 15th, 2011

The time-honored E-Commerce recommendation tactic (“Other customers who purchased that also bought this”) is not without its efficiency flaws. It takes a lot of keystrokes and can only deal with one product at a time. It also often veers the customer off in unintended directions, with someone checking out microwaves—four referral paths later—finding himself looking at options for lawnmower replacement parts. Sears Canada thinks it may have a better approach, and the chain plans on unveiling it in mid-October—in time for this year’s holiday shoppers.

The idea is to create experience pages for products that are typically linked with a large number of related products, such as school supplies, a home entertainment system or a backyard grill. The details are still being fine-tuned, but the idea could be a page with a list of all recommended items, each with its own checkbox. One keystroke could purchase the whole package, or selected items could be removed or their quantities changed.

“We have had a very templated approach up to now,” said one IT person working on the rollout. “You come to our site right now and you need to equip your kid for school. You might need a backpack, clothing, perhaps a desk. You’d search for each of those products individually, find the products, add them to your cart and away you go.”

The Sears Canada team wanted to create a better way for purchases that need to be grouped anyway. “We’re still playing with some of the details. I don’t know that it’s going to stay at one page. It might be three or four pages,” but the goal is “to keep it simple enough.”

There is a lot of wisdom in this approach, and it would be especially helpful for first-time buyers. Those newbies might very well appreciate not having to do all the homework to determine everything that is typically needed with such a purchase. Think of a first-time parent dealing with a five-year-old about to start school. Or someone buying a gas grill for the first time, who might have no idea of the need for a grill brush, two pairs of ultra-long tongs (one for the uncooked food and one for the cooked) and an extra fuel container.

The best part, though, is the accelerated speed of such package purchases, not to mention the increased margin. Consumers are likely to fill in the forgotten-accessory-gap by running to a local store (and quite possibly not the local Sears), rather than ordering online again.


Comments are closed.


StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.