Kmart's and Sears' web properties can now use their OpenID credentials to sign up and log in to these sites. MyKmart.com and MySears.com, which are both owned by the Sears Holding Company, implemented technology from Viewpoint and JanRain to allow users to use their login credentials from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Google, Yahoo, AOL, and Windows Live, as well as from any other OpenID provider. This marks one of the first times that such a large, mainstream online retailer has adopted OpenID.Users on
As Sears points out in its press release, it simply makes good business sense for the company to allow its users to use their social IDs to log in to its properties. After all, not having to sign up for yet another new account on yet another site greatly reduces the likelihood that a potential customer would just abandon the process and head to a competitor's site.
At least for the MyKmart site, though, we can also see why the company would want to make the sign-up process easy. In the last hour, only one review was posted on MyKmart and just about a dozen people signed up for access to the site. In contrast, MySears seems to attract more users and the site already has a far more active user community than MyKmart.
Overall, we really like Sears' implementation of this technology. While OpenID faced some serious usability issues in its early days, Sears and its technology partners have made the process extremely easy and straightforward.
We are glad to see that a large mainstream company like Sears is putting its weight behind OpenID and we hope that more companies will follow suit in the near future. After all, this only makes things easier for both the company and its users, and as users get more familiar with this idea, they will probably begin to resist signing up for sites that don't let them use their already established credentials to sign in to a new service.