In Mexico, Sears provides a wide spectrum of services including retail, telephone services, financial services, etc. The company implemented the WhatsApp Business API and Yalo conversational commerce platform to create a unified channel to cover all of the services offered, that was reachable by the customers in a single way.
Sears has more than 250 senior sales agents selling through WhatsApp while working from their homes. This group has an average sales conversion rate of 11.4% with WhatsApp which is higher than in the Sears flagship store.
Sears has been part of Mexican shoppers' lives since 1974, when it opened its first store. In 1997, Grupo Carso bought the majority of the shares and in a few years it became a Mexican company. Currently the company has more than 90 stores around the country and a strong e-commerce strategy, as well as financial and mobile services, reaching more than 4.7M monthly visitors on the website and more than 3.4M credit cardholders.
By offering a wide array of services and products, Sears had different types of customers and channels where they would communicate with the company. This had resulted in different strategies for their products and services, creating gaps on the communication channels. Thus they wanted a solution to provide omnicanal communication with all their customers, at a channel they were already using.
Sears was faced with a great challenge that required a great solution, how to have one communication channel for clients that had very different needs? It's not the same to ask for the location of a product than to know the cutoff date of a credit card. At the same time, the company had to close its stores for more than 1 month as a result of the pandemic, and while this increased the demand for the online services, it jeopardized the commissions of their sales force.
Thus, Sears worked with Yalo, a conversational commerce platform and certified WhatsApp Business Partner, to create Sara, a virtual assistant with whom the customers are able to chat and solve their most frequent questions, track their orders & speak to a customer service representative. Sara is the final result of the work and integration process of Sears current systems including: call center, website, order management and credit legacy system.
By integrating the WhatsApp API with Sears business processes and Yalo’s technology, now the customers can check their balance, pay dates, download their account statements, know the location of their orders and be assisted on their purchases.
Knowing that as a result of the pandemic there were more new digital users, the company created an assisted selling program on WhatsApp where the customers can interact with category experts, learning more about the products, promotions and payment options. This program allowed more than 400 Sears store employees, with high contagion risk, to continue their sales activities in the safety of their houses via WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Business API and Yalo’s conversational commerce platform, allowed Sears to map their key critical business processes and workflows, and understand the communications challenges for each type of client. With this, the company was also able to address the clients that were used to do their Research Online and Purchase Offline, and now had concerns since they couldn’t go to the stores. Thus the WhatsApp trained agents were able to guide them through the buying phase.
When we had to close our physical stores in the whole country, we faced a very big challenge. We found ourselves in the need to find a channel to maintain the attention and communication with our customers, that is why we implemented the WhatsApp and Yalo Assisted Sales Platform, this helped us to maintain the personalized attention that we gave in our physical stores”