Sears, the leading department store chain, has just launched a new group-buy app in Facebook called WishTogether, essentially the same as Walmart’s CrowdSaver app.

With Sears’ WishTogether app, users get to choose the ‘deals’ that Sears will offer customers – by “liking” them – proposed deals that get “liked” the most/enough go live.

It’s great to see Sears offering this kind of empowered involvement to customers of Facebook, the department store is essentially inviting customers to become consumer promotion advisors (CPA’s to coin a term).

Which is why it’s a shame that the WishTogether app appears to suffering from a few teething problems – and causing some consternation among users.

  • First, the app isn’t fit for purpose - insofar as it doesn’t work – at least not properly (see screenshots – the like button doesn’t appear (to make it appear we had to select another deal)) – Could Sears simplify the app to make it work systematically (does the app really need to be on multiple screens)?
  • Second, the app doesn’t ‘fit’ Facebook, literally or in design terms – its bright red and fat, squeezing out the familiar left sidebar and taking over the Facebook page.  Could Sears (which has a Facebook-friendly corporate blue color) adapt the design of the app to fits Facebook’s design ecosystem?
  • Third, the deals don’t fit with Facebook – they’re just not compelling enough. For example, Walmart is selling the Electric Turkey Fryer for just a few dollars more than Sears’ proposed deal price. Could Sears better harness the Facebook word of mouth platform by offering deals really worth talking about?

Despite these glitches it’s exciting to Sears experimenting with f-commerce. Constant “course correction” is the only way to succeed in this experimental media. Listen. Experiment. Adapt. Develop.  LEAD. Sears is walking the social commerce talk.

“Oh, Like Button, Like Button, Wherefore Art Thou?”


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