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Staples unfolds sales via in-app weekly circulars, rewards notifications

Staples is fueling mobile sales by updating its application to include sneak peeks of weekly advertisements and push notifications to alert users when loyalty rewards become available.

The retailer is continuing its efforts to drive mobile commerce by incorporating the latest digital trends into its Android and iOS apps. With mobile-driven loyalty resonating strongly with many consumers, Staples is hoping to receive even more rewards program sign-ups while catering to existing members via in-app reminders.

“This move looks like a smart one by Staples; it provides app users with additional content that they cannot get without having the app,” said Aaron Shook, executive software architect at PointSource. “Recent data shows that the average app loses well over half of its active daily users within the first three days of installation, so providing additional exclusive content and value-adds within the app can help retailers keep customers engaged and keep their apps installed.

“Installed apps allow continual engagement with the customer which ultimately converts to sales, so features like these that directly lead to apps staying installed are moves that ultimately drive revenue.”

Additional notifications
Staples is keeping loyalty members up-to-date with available discounts, point balances and freebies by enabling app users to get notified once Staples Rewards become available. This tactic will ensure that consumers spend available rewards balances or set new goals to achieve higher loyalty status.

For example, customers who are only several points away from earning a particular reward may become inspired to make an impromptu purchase once they receive a push notification displaying their current balance.

Additionally, this tool is likely to promote added engagement within the Staples Rewards program. If individuals sign up for the program on a whim and neglect to use it, receiving timely push notifications could be the boost they need to become more active members.

Mobile users concerned about missing out on the latest Staples Rewards will also undoubtedly appreciate the new feature.

The ultimate shopping companion
Staples’ other major app update includes the ability for users to view sneak peeks of the retailer’s weekly circulars before they go live. This is an optimal way of drumming up anticipation for upcoming sales and enticing customers to visit the app at least once per week.

Furthermore, Staples is ensuring that app users receive exclusive content before the rest of its shoppers do – thereby giving more incentive for frequent customers to download the app and subsequently use it to plan their weekly shopping excursions.

The app updates arrive on the heels of a fruitful year in mobile commerce for the office supplies brand, which has rolled out several new digital offerings designed to cater to the average consumer, as well as small business clients.

Staples kicked off the New Year by marketing heavily to small companies leveraging the retailer’s Quick Wins app, which offers access to on-the-go community support and business-specific ideas (see story).

Meanwhile, last spring, Staples unrolled a new purchasing platform designed to make it easy for employees to order supplies via SMS, email and an app as they walk around the office, part of a broader rebranding for its business-to-business division (see story).

Implementing in-app rewards notifications into its branded app, however, is likely the best move for Staples.

“In-app rewards notifications are another step toward keeping customers engaged by both gamifying the in-app experience and making them feel valued as loyal customers,” Mr. Shook said. “Functionality of this type is ultimately what keeps apps installed and allows retailers to keep engaging the customer directly.

“The shopping experience itself is not enough; customers can easily get that by visiting a mobile Web site. Adding value and rewarding loyalty is the name of the game.”