Softer Side Now Hard Core High Tech.

Looking for ways to bridge the digital and in store shopping experience?

Sears is rolling out a new program providing iPads to over 450 Sears and K-Mart stores to enhance the shopping experience. Associates will be able to use the devices to help customers check available inventory, order products online and access product information and videos. At the same time, Sears said it will offer free Wi-Fi at various locations so customers can use their smartphones to surf the Web, shop at and compare prices.

“Leveraging wireless access and mobile technology and putting new tools into the hands of our associates and customers is another step toward becoming a truly integrated retailer,” said Deidra Merriwether, senior vice president and president, Retail Services. “We wanted to make it a more personal experience. It is part of our strategy to become more of an integrated retailer and combining the digital and retail formats within the company.”

Sears also believes there’s a practical purpose to rolling out the devices. Employees will now be able to use the iPads to manage tasks and increase productivity, including assisting customers faster than before. “This isn’t only about cool new devices,” added Merriwether, “this is about a better overall in-store shopping experience for our customers as we strive to put them first in everything we do.”

As we head into the hectic and busiest of shopping seasons, perhaps this will help frantic shoppers get better and more up to-date information from sales associates. Guess the softer side of Sears has now gone hard core high tech. What do you think?

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