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Staples ramps up mobile commerce initiatives

Office products giant Staples commerce-enabled its mobile Web site and launched an iPhone application featuring a store locator, product search and a weekly ad.

In a survey Staples commissioned, small businesses reported how likely they are to leverage mobile capabilities, such as a smartphone, for searching and purchasing supplies online. Small businesses that shop online frequently—three or more times per month—are more than twice as likely to say that mobile capabilities are important, as compared to those that place one to two orders online per month.

Additionally, more than a quarter of small businesses (27 percent) say they already have a device capable of making these purchases.

To address the growing need for mobile capabilities, Staples recently enhanced its existing mobile Web site so customers can easily shop and buy on any Web-enabled phone.

For customers who prefer applications, Staples created its first iPhone application, which can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store.

Mobile Marketer’s Dan Butcher interviewed Anabela Perozek, vice president of marketing for business delivery at Staples, Framingham, MA. Here is what she had to say:

Staples is committed to offering our customers a multichannel array of options for whether they prefer to shop in-store or online. 

Now we’re also broadening our offerings to meet customers’ needs when they’re on-the-go, with new mobile purchasing capabilities. 

How does the app help to promote Staples’ brand and its products?
Whenever you provide your customers with another channel of connection, your brand and products are exposed and promoted.

Currently the app allows customers to check inventory, review product details, locate stores and view digital offers.

As mobile developments evolve, so will plans for our app by broadening its scope and capabilities. 

The iPhone app currently does not have mcommerce capabilities but if you want to make a purchase using a mobile device, the app will re-route you to Staples mobile Web site where you can complete any transaction.

Staples’ mobile Web site however, which was launched in the fall of 2009, we expanded its ability to have full ecommerce capabilities this summer.

Essentially, everything you can do on can now be done through our mobile Web site.

As more customers to turn mobile devices to make purchase, we plan to continually improve our app to meet our customer’s needs.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily