March 16, 2011, 12:13 PM

Office Depot supplies iPhone customers with an app

The app complements its m-commerce site, launched in November.

Lead Photo

Customers can use the office supplies merchant's app to browse, search and purchase all products.

Office Depot Inc. launched a mobile commerce web site in November to reach the growing number of customers using smartphones and feature phones, the predecessor to smartphones that can access the web but with a less rich experience. It wanted to get the furthest reach it could to bring mobile consumers to a web experience optimized specially for them.

Now the big office supplies retailer, No. 5 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is focusing on one slice of the mobile pie, users of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPod Touch. It has released an iPhone app that is customized to meet the needs of this market-leading smartphone and its mini-computer companion.

“Office Depot knows small-business customers are leveraging mobile to make their personal and professional lives more convenient,” Barry Litwin, vice president of e-commerce, tells Internet Retailer. “Office Depot is committed to delivering the best customer experience to buy office supplies across all of our customer touch-points.”

Consumers can use the app, built in-house, to browse, search and buy all products Office Depot sells. They can sign in to their Office Depot accounts and complete transactions within the app. Items placed in the cart in the app when a customer is signed in will also appear in the carts on the m-commerce and e-commerce sites so customers have the option to purchase them later in a different manner.

Litwin says the ability to check out within the app and the synchronized carts are the most important features of the new app. He also says a quick experience with high-quality performance is a key to success in m-commerce.

“The app is very fast due to complete integration with our web services environment,” he says. “The game is changing and Office Depot is delivering a world class mobile buying experience for customers.”

In addition to the m-commerce site and iPhone app, Office Depot also offers text message alerts and is working on apps for tablet PCs.

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