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Staples ramps up holiday strategy with mobile-only offers

Staples is enticing mobile users to start their Black Friday shopping early with mobile-only deals that begin on Thanksgiving Day.

Black Friday shopping is starting early this year as some retailers open their doors at midnight on Thursday, Nov. 22, while others, such as Staples, are leveraging mobile to give shoppers early access to special deals. Mobile users will be able to shop Staples’ Web sites on Thanksgiving Day and take advantage of exclusive deals between 11 p.m. and 11 a.m. the next day.

“Staples knows that consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to not only shop but do research in-store and on the go,” said Prat Vemana, director of mobile and Staples’ Cambridge, MA-based Velocity Lab, where the retailers’ technology teams are based.

“We also know that customers are shopping earlier than ever on Black Friday, so by offering mobile deals starting at 11 p.m. the night before, we’re providing them the opportunity to shop when they want to, and will continue the deals when our stores open at 5 a.m. the next morning,” he said.

“In terms of deals, we’ll have something for everyone, appealing to all types of shoppers and featuring a broad range of products and categories.”

Mobile traffic jumps
This is the first year that Staples, Framingham, MA, is delivering mobile-only holiday offers. It is one of many retailers that are taking advantage of the fact that consumers’ smartphones are often within arms’ reach to support their holiday shopping needs.

Staples is also responding to a jump in mobile traffic around the holidays and its desire to be where its customers are.  The office supplies retailer reports that last year on Black Friday weekend, it saw traffic to on mobile devices above the national average of 14.3 percent that IBM reported.

The Black Friday savings at Staples start in store at 5 a.m. on Nov. 23. But, mobile and desktop users will be able to get an early start on shopping, with Staples offering Black Friday savings, including in-store and online deals, all week on as well as the mobile-only offers between 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving and 11 a.m. on Black Friday. will also offer special two-day deals on Mondays and Tuesdays from Nov. 12 through Dec. 18.

For the first time, busy shoppers will also be able to reserve products online and pick them up in store.

Driving mcommerce sales
Four out of five mobile and tablet owners will use their devices in their shopping activities for the upcoming holiday season, according to a recent report from Google. While most of this activity will be support oriented and not actual purchasing, by offering mobile-only offers Staples and other retailers are hoping to drive mcommerce conversions.

Staples believes mobile is a cross-channel shopping companion, and this is especially true during Black Friday week,” Mr. Vemana said. “We want to make the shopping experience easy for our customers and will continue to use mobile as a way to talk to them about the latest deals, products and services we have to offer.”

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