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Kmart’s Web Strategy

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Posted by on July 13th, 2010 in Social Media and Web Strategy.

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Last week, Kmart and Sears Holding Co. came up in my news reader, announcing and other web initiatives by Sears Holding Co. to boost the Kmart brand performance and sales.

Kmart isn’t a place I shop, which isn’t saying a lot because I’m not a big in-store shopper. I can’t say I’ve even been on the Kmart website until reading this news nugget. The brand doesn’t strike me as modern, so it made me curious about how the company is using the web and what results they might achieve.

After a quick search, I found that Kmart has several initiatives on the web including a mobile app (kmart2go), and Business strategy and the web are two of my favorite topics so I began to wonder…

What can we learn from Kmart?

Here’s what stands out to me about Kmart’s web strategy, none of which is surprising and gives us a great example to look at for web strategy.

  • Clearly define business goals
  • Segment and target specific audiences.
  • Offer presentation formats specific to the target audience
  • Use Social Media to augment existing marketing, PR and sales strategies

Clearly Define Business Goals

As you can see by looking at the different web presences for Kmart, they all support the overall organizational sales goals. I have no doubt that, internally, the corporation is measuring the ROI of each part of the overall web strategy. Otherwise, why invest?

Segment & Target

Kmart is making it easy for target audiences to interact and/or buy by understanding their preferences, where they hang out on the web and what messages buyers want to hear.

Audience Segment Strategy Component
Design Conscious Buyers, Twitter, ‘shoppable videos’ on Facebook
Mobile Buyers kmart2go app (iphone, ipad, android)
Shoppers in a hurry or on the go, likely parents

Audience-Driven Design is customized for the design audience, not only in it’s visual appearance but also in the content strategy of the web site. The site’s content strategy focuses in on sharing the unique personality of the brand’s designers, including many videos to reach the site’s young audience.

Mobile Design

Each website for Kmart is not only optimized for the web but also for mobile platforms. Considering the 65% annual predicted rise of mobile commerce by some analysts, this is likely to be a very smart move even if the analysts are overly optimistic.

Strategic Social Media

Kmart is using social media outlets like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to augment their existing, traditional marketing & PR strategies. The use of Social Media supports the goals of the web strategy by making it easier for buyers to shop while on Facebook. Enter ‘Shoppable Videos’.

Shoppable Video

What is it and why do we care? I haven’t personally seen ‘shoppable video’ previously but now I’m keeping an eye out for it. It’s an evolutionary idea for video. Users can watch a video about a particular design line and, by a single click on the video, browse the product line in Kmart’s online store. The video was created by AboutFace, a content marketing agency that makes short form video documentaries for brands, and then optimizes that content for use within social media.

While I think the web strategy will likely increase sales and have a positive impact on brand, it will likely have a larger impact on buyers that have little, if any, previous experience with the brand. The initiatives on the web from Kmart appear to be competitive reactions to Walmart’s in-store pickup service, released in 2007, and Target’s Style Boutique.

So what do you think? Will any of Kmart’s web strategy change the way you perceive the brand, making you more likely to shop with the company?

About Diona Kidd

Diona Kidd is a marketer, entrepreneur and managing partner of Knowmad. You can connect with Diona via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

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