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Staples overhauls mobile to simplify cross-channel shopping

Staples is overhauling its digital touch points, including a new mobile site and application, to provide a more fluid and simple cross-channel shopping experience that will enable shoppers to start an order in one channel and finish it in another.

More than a quarter of Staples’ site traffic comes from mobile, and the company expects that number to pass 50 percent in the near future. The company is therefore leveraging the channel to reach consumers where they are and aiming to stand out in the competitive office supplies category.

“With the new Staples online storefront we wanted to make it easier for customers to find the products that are right for their business, by serving up relevant, personalized content and pricing,” said Faisal Masud, executive vice president of global ecommerce at Staples, Framingham, MA. “By making the site less busy, improving the speed and performance and adding thousands of new products to the site, we’ve simplified the overall shopping experience.

“Mobile is central to our strategy as we see it as a core part of our omnichannel offering, along with our stores and desktop site,” he said. “As the second largest Internet retailer in the world, we know that every channel is important, but mobile will be a key component of our plans going forward, as we know it’s the most rapidly growing channel.”

Cross-screen shopping
The desktop site has already been revamped, and the mobile site and app will be updated in the coming months.

Staples plans to create a seamless experience that allows consumers to start and finish shopping wherever and whenever they want.

When the mobile redesign is in place, consumers will be able start shopping on one channel and finish on another. For example, a consumer can order a product online and pick it up in-store.

Additionally, the mobile site will take advantage of GPS to let consumers connect with the closest store.

The new mobile site will also feature easy checkout, letting consumers transact in two clicks.

Online Staples
When consumers first visit the new Staples site, they will see a tutorial explaining the new features of the site, including faster search, more products and easier rewards.

The new online site offers a simplified, image-heavy look. It also better integrates with Staples Rewards.

Additionally, the site moves more quickly and has an enhanced overall performance.

Staples recently acquired the software company Runa, which is helping to create a more personalized experience for customers. For example, it will offer more dynamic pricing and offer a price match guarantee starting Nov. 3.

“Staples’ vision is to provide every product businesses need to succeed beyond traditional office products,” Mr. Masud said.

“We want the shopping experience to be consistent across all platforms, because we know that today’s customers are increasingly interacting with our brand through multiple channels, allowing us to leverage the power of our supply chain and our stores,” he said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York