Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores wins customer engagement reward for online review

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores (NASDAQ:SHOS), along with partner Yext, was awarded a Customer Engagement Reward by RetailTouchPoints for its online review program.

The retailer's program integrates Yext's online review monitoring technology with the Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores "Say Yes" initiative. The program allows the retailer to track and respond to online reviews in order to connect and build relationships with customers.

The goal of the award is to recognize retailers who are innovators in implementing new and creative customer engagement strategies and a promise of customer centricity.

"Unlike most retailers who silo online reviews into a separate social category, we chose to make online reviews a key part of our customer service strategy," said David Buckley, CMO of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. "We are excited that the industry is recognizing our progressive approach to customer service, leveraging technology to improve engagement with customers at the local level."

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores seeks to make the online shopping experience more consumer-driven, by giving shoppers the power not only to review purchases but also to negotiate prices. In the spring of 2013, the company partnered with Netotiate to create a platform that gives shoppers a tool for negotiating their own bargains. Since the platform was introduced, the retailer has shown double-digit conversion rates, and revenue per visit has increased within categories.

The retailer needed the win: sales have declined since the company was sold off by Sears Holdings (NYSE:SHLD) two years ago in an effort to cut costs, and the store is plagued by a highly promotional environment and the growing business of online appliance sales on other retail sites.

For more:
-See this Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores press release

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