Sears bets on fitness apps, wearables to propel loyalty program


Sears is taking an out-of-the-box approach to building up its loyalty program with a new initiative that turns consumers fitness achievements into loyalty points.

As Sears increasingly moves towards becoming a membership-based retailer, mobile is a key way that the retailer is engaging with its Shop Your Way loyalty members. The newest iteration of this is the Points for Progress program that rewards consumers with points in exchange for tracking their health through wearables and applications.

The beauty of the FitStudio Points For Progress program is that it combines a topic we know many of our members are passionate about fitness with something we know all of our members love rewards, said Brian Hanover, PR director at Sears, Hoffman Estates, IL.

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This program is a first-of-its-kind way for members to earn rewards just for getting active, he said.

Whipping mobile into shape
The Web site is the main component of the campaign. Consumers first register for an account that is linked to a Shop Your Way membership.

The site syncs with fitness apps and devices, including FitBit, MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal. Additionally, consumers can use Netpulse-enabled equipment at more than 5,000 gyms in the United States and Canada to earn rewards.

In exchange for inputting fitness information, members receive points that can be redeemed either in-store or online at Kmart and Sears. The points can also be redeemed via Sears mobile app.

Consumers will earn $5 or 5,000 points for every 14 miles that they log in 2014.

The Fit Studio Web site

Members can also challenge other members to fitness competitions and share their health progress through social media on the site.

In addition to tracking rewards and health, the site also provides free health and wellness tools to help consumers stay on track with their fitness.

For example, consumers can access step-by-step exercise and workout information.

Users can also shop Sears fitness products straight from the site. These products include apparel, accessories and equipment.

Shop Your Way within the Sears Android app

Bulking up on loyalty
Sears recently reported that 70 percent of its sales are made by Shop Your Way members, showing the significant investments that the retailer is pouring into its loyalty program to drive in-store and online sales (see story).

Sears also moved its Black Friday deals onto its loyalty app last year to give shoppers an exclusive first look at sales (see story). 

Rewarding shoppers for fitness activities that they are already completing is an interesting way for Sears to build up loyalty programs.

Most consumers actively using a wearable device track their progress at least daily, which probably keeps the Sears brand top-of-mind for consumers.

As more marketers move into wearables and fitness tools as the next iteration of mobile, the devices give retailers a wealth of information to potentially better target marketing.

Although privacy is still an issue, retailers specializing in sports goods have recently ramped up their mobile and wearable device efforts.

For example, Under Armour bought MapMyFitness last year to further map out the retailers mobile and wearable initiatives (see story).

FitStudio is a great example of how we are seamlessly connecting shopping channels by blurring the boundaries between offline and online commerce, providing a convenience for Shop Your Way members and rewarding them for engaging in the program, Mr. Hanover said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

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