The U.S. online shopping world's biggest day is here, but will strong web sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving cut into Cyber Monday's take?
Leading up to the 2014 holiday season, the office supplies e-retailer adds shipping options, an iPad app and more in-store touch screen kiosks.
Staples Inc., No. 3 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, announced today several initiatives aimed at boosting sales going into the 2014 holiday season. For the first time, Staples shoppers will be able to buy items online and pick them up in stores as well as shop using an iPad app. The retailer also announced new in-store touch screen kiosks and the Visa Checkout payment system, which allows consumers to check out using a user name and login registered with Visa Checkout.
“Staples continues to innovate and develop new technology to improve the customer experience, whether it’s providing convenient shipping options, making check-out faster or adding mobile platforms,” says Faisal Masud, executive vice president of global e-commerce. “The recent updates will make it easier for customers to shop however and from wherever they want. This is particularly important for businesses that are always on the go and can’t wait for a delivery or delay shopping until they are in front of a desktop.”
Staples rolled out the buy online, pick up in-store program in a limited fashion in July. Consumers will now be able to select a “pick up today” option as they view a product on Staples.com. Staples says it will have the order ready for pick-up within two hours. For items not available in stores, consumers can still select a ship-to-store option. Both of these are free of charge.
Staples also announced the first iPad app in the company’s history. The app lets shoppers check and cash their Staples Rewards balance, reorder past purchases, access deals, check product availability at stores and filter search results by price, category and relevance.
Staples is also rolling out new in-store touchscreen kiosks over the next several months. The kiosks allow consumers to shop and order items available only on Staples.com from the physical stores. Sales on those kiosks saw double-digit sales growth during the second quarter of 2014, the company said on its conference call with analysts. “Online customers are actually coming into the store and making purchases online and love the experience,” said Demos Parneros, president of North American stores and online, on the call
Staples also announced the expansion of Visa Checkout, which allows consumer to register with the service—using any brand of credit card—and complete a purchase with just the Visa Checkout user name and password instead of having to enter in shipping, billing and payment information each time. Visa Checkout has been available on Staples.com since July, and the checkout method is now available on the retailer’s mobile sites, too.