Sears Marketplace Seller Best Practices

Joining a new marketplace your first step should be distinguishing your business among the established marketplace community.  Here are some key tips and best practices that we have identified as we have worked with the existing sellers on the Sears marketplace.

Be a Responsible, Professional seller… this is your business, not a hobby!

Know The Rules – each marketplace is different with various rule and expectations.  Learn the Best Practices and strive to do better.  As a marketplace seller you likely sell similar products as the merchant next to you, so one way to stand out from everyone else is to DO better than everyone else.

Get Out What You Put In – marketplaces are not a “set it and forget it businesses.”

Be knowledgeable – Curate your assortment based on previous successes, competitors success, category trends and new products.

Communicate: The more information you share upfront about the item being sold, specifications, sizes and weights will go a LONG way in cutting down time-suck questions from curious consumers.

Set Expectations: When describing shipping/ handling times and return policies/procedures…be honest and clearly spell out how you intend to conduct business with your customer.  Vague policy statements and poor communications lead to frustrated consumers and eventually lost customers.

Be Timely: Response times mean everything!  Our best practices say 24-hours is acceptable but what you can do to cut down the response time will help.  Imagine the inbound email communication is like a telephone call and the person is waiting on the line for you to respond.  Instantaneous isn’t necessary but sooner is more helpful.

Test Different Strategies: Marketplaces are typically driven by demand and price but see what works best for your business.

The numbers speak for themselves!  28% of shoppers will abandon their cart if they consider your shipping rates excessive.  80% of items sold are On Sale with Free Shipping!

We offer a few ways to set up free shipping.  Check out this FAQ on how to set it up.

Be flexible to remain competitive…determine your desired margin and lowest possible price. Ensure Strike-Through Pricing. Test and iterate!  Remember, in 2017, we removed the MSRP attribute so make sure you are using sale pricing on the items.

High- Low Pricing: Sears Marketplace sellers are highly encouraged to price showing a savings model. This method is easily implemented in Excel, XML/API, or directly within Seller Portal – by adding pricing into “standard” and “sale price” sections in your integration method. You must add start/end date as well to ensure the success. Sears members are savvy price shoppers seeing the savings is advantageous to your business.

Lean In + Participate – promotions and deals…this is free advertising, use it.  Also, it has a halo effect on the search algorithm.  Check out this FAQ on the Deals Platform.

Call more attention to your products!  Leverage the Sears Sponsored Product Private Market program to improve product visibility, drive sales and measure results!  Follow these three steps:

  1. Sign up to get started on https://rsx.hooklogic.com/sears#/signIn
  2. Select your products to feature
  3. See your products boosted on the page

It only takes minutes to get started and your Sears Sponsored Product Private Market account could be active within 72 hours.

Benefit from opening a Sears Sponsored Product Private Market account today!  Contact the team at adsales@searshc.com.

Review Order Fulfillment Performance: Sellers should make every effort to reduce their Cancellations and Returns due to issues within their control such as out of stocks, discontinued items, and the item not being what the customer expected. Sellers should work towards achieving and maintaining Cancellation Rates below 2.5% and their Return Rates below 4%.  We regularly review the performance of all sellers and notify them when they are off-target

Order Prep Time: We offer all marketplace sellers item level lead-time capability. To ensure, our members are receiving the best experience. Sellers should review and updated frequently.  Customers are accustomed to 2-Days shipping; apply lower lead-time to items within your catalog.

Inventory: Set up regular feeds to update your inventory frequently to ensure unavailable products are not available for purchase on Sears.com.  Selling out of stock items is a poor customer experience.

Descriptions: Listing your items is the easy step for your products to become purchasable, but you need to entice Sears’s members during their online shopping experience! Mention the quality of the product concisely; feature and benefit. Focus the features on the short description and the benefits in our long description sections. Short and long description should never be duplicated.

Categorization: Review items class templates prior to uploading items to ensure they are categorized into the proper taxonomy on Sears.com. Items in the incorrect item class provided a poor online shopping experience for our members. Download the current item class commission table, this will provide you with the current categorization on Sears.com. The item class commission table is located under products > product management > bulk under the supporting files sections.

Product Titles: Product titles should NOT contain the brand (this is automatically appended). Providing the brand  in both the brand and title sections provides a poor customer shopping experience.

  • Correct: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Plus Upright Vacuum
  • Incorrect: Shark Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Plus Upright Vacuum

Attribution: If selling in consumer electronics, apparel, footwear, tools, and home during your content (product setup), a major focus should be placed on having relevant attributes mapped. Item classes have their own unique attributes, they are located in the item class attribute table (excel, API/XML, and in Seller Portal). When present your items will be visible when Sears members are searching by left navigation of the website. Opting not to include attributes will prevent your items from showing in the narrowed by search results. Attributes give you maximum exposure!

Content Error Reporting: Sellers should regularly check error-processing report to ensure your items are ending successfully on Sears.com. The report is located in Seller Portal under products > product management > errors processing. Check this report frequently and correct errors.

Here are some actual examples of the success some sellers have had by adding free shipping and strike-through pricing.

Adding Free Shipping & Strike-Through Pricing

Idrack                                    +36% increase in revenue

VM Innovations                     +48% increase in revenue

Exacme                                 +59% increase in revenue

Adding Free Shipping (already had Strike-Through pricing)

Unbeatable Sale                               +25% increase in revenue

ShopChimney.com                           +30% increase in revenue

An-Ultimate Collectionz                   +32% increase in revenue

Adding Strike-Through Pricing

Bealls Florida                                    +63% increase in revenue

Pandoras OEM Appliances              +51% increase in revenue