What is Sears Marketplace?
In 2009, Sears formally launched its Marketplace, and in the few years since, its launch has recreated itself several times. In its most current form, Sears Marketplace, or Sears Commerce Service is hoping to attract energized e-merchants who rely on the web for business and everything else. They’re looking to find a foothold in a pretty competitive market. Sears may be a retail giant, but they have a long way to go to be an e-retail giant, and they know it.
Take for example, their Facebook page. While it hasn’t received a large number of Likes yet, it is regularly updated with articles such as “5 Things You Must Know Before Starting an E-Commerce Business” and “Trends in e-Commerce Tools for 2013.” The hope, of course, is to expose Sears as an e-commerce resource. They want you to turn to them for all of your ecommerce needs and concerns, from lack of warehouse space to shipping issues and beyond.
But Is It Working?
Creating an account with Sears is pretty easy, and once you get that done, you can upload your item catalog. You have from more than 20 categories to sell in, and your items can be found on Sears.com, Sears mobile, and Sears kiosks located in Sears stores. The beauty is, your products are integrated right alongside Sears’ items online. Consumers will be able to tell what’s a Sears’s product and what’s not through the description, underneath the price of the product.
The kiosk selling point nicely ties in the virtual e-world with the real world, which is certainly a creative way for Sears to hang their hat on their brick-and-mortar success.
They even offer Sears Local Marketplace, where customers can purchase your products online from Sears and get it that same day (via in-store pickup at Sears or at your store, or delivery). It’s free for you to offer, as the cost trickles down to the customer.
A benefit of this is if you have the inventory space, it’s always great to get customers into your store. By offering them same-day pickup, not only are you providing them a convenience, but you’re introducing them to you and your brand, which can go a long way toward repeat business.
It always comes down to the cost, so here’s the breakdown on what it takes to work with Sears.
If you want to Advertise with Sears, there’s no monthly fee. You’re charged a fee for each time a customer clicks on the “Go to site” button on one of your product pages.
If you want to Sell on Sears, your fee is $39.99. With this fee you can receive an unlimited number of orders each month and it covers all hosting and maintenance costs associated with your account. You’re also charged a commission rate on products, depending on where those products are sold on the Sears site.
There’s also a feature called Fulfilled by Sears, for those merchants with warehousing concerns. That feature costs $39.99 per month and actually covers everything you get as a Seller (meaning you aren’t charged $39.99 for being a seller and for being a part of the Fulfilled by Sears program). You are, however, charged $0.45-$0.60/cubic foot in monthly storage fees. If you have any items that haven’t been ordered in more than six months, they’ll be flagged as slow movers and will incur an additional fee. There are also other fees (pick and pack, order handling, weight handling) associated with the Fulfilled by Sears feature.
Sears certainly has name recognition as a retailer. And Sears.com does rake in decent traffic, which is nice that you have the option to get your products on their website along side their own products. But what kind of relationship should you have with Sears? Should you strictly advertise or become an active seller? Should you invest in their Fulfilled by Sears service? Determining the best strategy for working with Sears involves assessing the retail giant’s effectiveness within your niche, as well as other specific parameters. It takes work and effort to figure out how best to enjoy a high return on investment with Sears.
Learn how you can best use Sears Marketplace to your advantage by calling OperationROI at 1-888-277-5329 or by filling out our contact form.Not Taking Advantage of Sears? Contact Us Today!