January 30, 2001, 5:16 PM

Office Depot offers Internet shopping through handheld devices

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Office Depot small-business and home-office customers later this month will be able to shop through handheld devices. Office Depot is working with Symbol Technologies, which provides mobile data transaction systems, and BarPoint.com, a product information service and applications developer. The new Office Depot Quick Purchase Scanning PDA consists of Symbol's SPT 1500 handheld computer and the new Office Depot Quick Purchase application, developed and powered by BarPoint. The Scanning PDA is based on the popular Palm OS platform and allows Office Depot customers to scan an item's barcode and, utilizing BarPoint's reverse-search technology, instantly create and store unique, customized catalogs of office products on the handheld computer. These personalized catalogs will contain the product's UPC number, its corresponding Office Depot item number, product-specific details and user notes. Customers can order products from their handheld computer with one click by simply tapping the shopping cart icon next to the desired product's name. The user can then send the order directly from their handheld computer, via the Internet, to Office Depot. Any item carried by Office Depot can be quickly added to the user's unique product catalog and ordered with this process. As an additional benefit, a user's personalized catalog can also be used as a quick-reference shopping list for in-store purchasing or for telephone ordering.

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