Sears embraces smartphone shoppers, but is it too late?

There is plenty of Sears-bashing on RetailWire and I’m one of the chief contributors. So I had a recent chance to praise Sears (in a backhanded way) for embracing newer technologies such as QR readers on smartphones. Here’s my take:

The use of QR codes is a good way to take e-commerce to a more convenient level. It appeals to the impulse shopper with a smartphone at hand, and eliminates the need to deal with a computer or tablet to place an online order. This sort of technology will become more commonplace in the next five years, and you might expect to see kiosks where customers with smartphones can shop from “virtual malls.”

And just because it’s Sears/Kmart doesn’t make it a bad idea! However, a couple of key questions linger: Is the “smartphone shopper” also a Sears/Kmart shopper? And does the new technology hide the fact that these stores are no longer perceived as top-of-mind or relevant shopping options?

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