November 3, 2016, 1:12 PM

Staples’ app users can get an early view of Black Friday sales

The retailer hopes shoppers will download its app to preview the deals Staples will make available the day after Thanksgiving.

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Users of Staples Inc’s. app can check out Black Friday deals weeks before they can purchase them.

The office supplies retailer, No. 5 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, is allowing its app users to see the deals it will offer on the Friday after Thanksgiving starting Nov. 6. The retailer will show its website shoppers the ad a few days later on Nov. 10.

The retailer also is allowing online shoppers to cash in on its Black Friday deals a day earlier, on Thanksgiving Day, but only online and in its app. Staples will open its stores at 6 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving for its deals in stores.

Last year, Staples offered a sneak peak of its Black Friday deals, but only via an online ad, not via the app. The retailer hopes this year’s incentive will garner more downloads for its app, although Staples does not have a set download goal, a spokeswoman says.

Staples is letting shoppers knows about the preview via banners on Staples.com, emails, app acquisition banners, social media, SMS messages, push notifications and paid search.

Throughout the holiday shopping season, Staples’ app users will see deals first before the retailer advertises sales to other shoppers, Staples says. This is a smart strategy because it gives consumers an incentive to download its app, says Andrew Lipsman, comScore’s vice president of marketing and insights. 

“Retailers need to give their customers a reason to download their app, and there frankly hasn’t been enough creativity on the part of retailers in coming up with strategies to incentivize this behavior,” Lipsman says. “Kudos to Staples for trying something new and different that just might work.”

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (No. 4 in the Top 500) had a similar strategy for the 2015 holiday season, as it allowed consumers with its app to preview Black Friday deals before they went live on Thanksgiving Day.

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