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Office Depot overhauls app to enhance integration with stores

Office Depot recently put its mobile application through a major redesign for a better omnichannel experience, including advancements in personalization and the retailer’s rewards program as well as a tighter integration between the app and the in-store experience.

The new app, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, was designed to appeal to the busy professionals who are the chain’s primary audience with an eye toward making shopping as convenient as possible. Office Depot involved customers in the process of designing the app via usability testing, focus groups and quantitative research to better ensure the app provides the most important features.

“The biggest changes from the previous app include personalization and an enhanced experience for members of our Office Depot OfficeMax Rewards program,” said Kevin Moffitt, vice president of ecommerce at Office Depot.

“Other key enhancements include the functionality for customers to quickly reorder their most commonly purchased items whether purchased at or at an Office Depot or OfficeMax retail store,” he said.

“This new feature also allows business customers to quickly and simply restock their supply cabinets by making it very convenient to pick up those items in one of our stores or have them quickly delivered to their office.”

Personalized home page
The app also features a brand new look and feel, including a new home page design promising simpler navigation. Users can quickly access previous purchases when placing reorders, and track orders in real time. Users can also save deals or offers for later use, search for the nearest retail store and quickly find ink or toner for printers saved on the app.

The home page of the app is also personalized, featuring categories and products based upon shopping history. The experience becomes more personalized with use and promises to make it easier for users to discover new products.

The app also now offers a message center where all order notifications, deal alerts and messages are saved one convenient location so users can easily access them while on the go.

Updated store mode
The in-store capabilities include being able to redeem any reward certificate in store by showing it to an associate via a smartphone during checkout.

The app now provides a print service option enabling users to upload a document and then print it any Office Depot or OfficeMax store.

The updated store mode for the app enables users to research products while in a store and view deals or offers specific to a chosen location.

Office Depot’s focus on more closely aligning its app with the store experience is in keeping with mobile’s significant influence on in-store sales. According to recent research from Deloitte, digital interactions will influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in bricks-and-mortar stores during the 2015 holiday season (see story).

“We gained insight from usability testing, focus groups and mobile quantitative research,” Mr. Moffitt said.

“App users not only want a convenient personalized experience, but identified the importance of mobile as a connector between and Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores,” he said.

“Customers were often using mobile to research items prior to and during store visits.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York