Staples accelerates omnichannel push via iPad app, in-store pick-up
Mobile plays a big role in a new omnichannel push from Staples, including the retailer?s first iPad application and the ability to purchase online and pick up in-store.
The new offerings are intended to make it easier for customers to shop however and wherever they want, something more retailers are focusing on as mobile shopping continues to grow. For Staples? important business customer base, omnichannel experiences are particularly important as these customers are often on the go and do not want to delay shopping until they are in front of a desktop.
?Mobile is playing a central role in our omnichannel push,? said Faisal Masud, executive vice president, global e-commerce, Staples. ?From the ability to buy online and pick up in store through m.staples.com, to adding an iPad app that lets customers check in-store availability, mobile offers new ways for our customers to shop Staples.
?We are seeing encouraging growth from our mobile channels, and will continue to incorporate the features and functionalities mobile brings to the table into our omnichannel offerings,? he said.
Staples? first-ever iPad app enables users to check and cash their Staples Rewards balance and reorder past purchases.
The app also features access to the biggest and best deals from Staples, product availability at the nearest store, faster search and quick navigation, customizable viewing of search results as well as the ability to narrow down search results by price, category and relevance.
Staples has also extended Visa Checkout ? which has been available on desktop since July ? to the Staples mobile sites. As a result, mobile users can now check out online on any device by entering a Visa Checkout username and password. By doing so, their shipping information is prepopulated.
With Staples new buy online, pick-up in-store feature, customers will be able to select a ?pick up today? option when they view a product on Staples.com from desktop or mobile. The retailer promises to have orders ready for pick up within two hours.
Customers can also permanently set their preferred store location, and Staples.com will automatically show the inventory available at the three closest stores.
For products not sold in store, customers will still have the ability to ship their order to a store for pick up.
Both the buy-online, pick-up in-store and ship-to-store options are free of charge.
The retailer is also rolling out new touch screen in-store kiosks throughout its stores over the next several months. The kiosks will provide access to the over 1 million products available on Staples.com that can be ordered for delivery.
Staples is one of the top-five largest Internet retailers by sales volume.
With mobile playing a bigger role in how customers search, browse and purchase items of interest, Staples has been stepping up its mobile strategy this year.
Earlier this year, Staples began testing an SMS program to see how customers respond when they receive offers on their phones as part of a broader strategy to cater to mobile shoppers both in-store and online (see stories).
This summer, mobile?s already important role for Staples? smart home and office platform called Connect grew with the integration of wearable technology (see story).
?The ease of use of the new Staples iPad app has us really excited as it provides direct access to Staples? biggest and best deals, helping businesses make more happen,? Mr. Masud said.
?All the features of the iPad app, such as providing product availability at the nearest store, faster search and quick navigation, customizable viewing of search results and the ability to narrow down search results by price, category and relevance, were created with the goal of giving time back to business owners, their most precious resource,? he said.
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York