I saw a press release from Sears that they launched an online platform for local Chicago-area merchants to sell their products and merchandise. Supposedly, local “mom and pop” shops can sell their products on Sears.com to help increase business for them and help the local economy stay competitive.
It sounds all good and all, but doesn’t this platform sound familiar ala Amazon.com and eBay.com? Both Amazon and eBay allow local merchants and even individual people sell used and “new” products online all the time. This has been happening for about a decade now.
When I told my fellow bloggers about this, they all agreed. This platform has been done to death and nothing is new about a third party store (or individual) selling products on a large retail website.
But here’s the “ah-ha” moment (although small) – local Chicago vendors can benefit from this since it exposes their products to Sears customers (Amazon and eBay will also expose their products), but Chicago residents are actually the benefactors of this expansion.
The news coverage on this makes you think this is a genius platform for local vendors, but customers reap more of the rewards. According to their press release, customers can “Get more of everything – faster than before.”
This expansion of Sears.com introduces same-day delivery and “buy online pickup in store” options to customers in the Chicagoland area and provides them with a large assortment of products from Sears, Kmart and other local merchants.
Customers can have purchases consolidated to a local Sears or Kmart store for one easy pickup. Alternatively, they can have the items delivered the very same day, or schedule home delivery for a future date and time.
Although I think Amazon beat Sears to the online innovative “multichannel” store approach, Sears beats Amazon and other competitors in the convenience factor.