Staples (News - Alert), the popular office supply, technology and furniture retailer, has announced several updates to its omnichannel experience in order to make purchases even easier for its customers. The company is very active both with a strong online presence and a network of physical stores, and has been working constantly to ensure the connection between the two is as strong as possible.
Possibly the most important enhancement to the Staples experience is a new option for customers to buy items online and pick them up in the store. The company is one of the few remaining that still offers products of this type in a physical location, in addition to the ubiquitous online buy-and-ship options available to customers. Staples promises that items ordered for pick up will be ready within two hours, assuming they are in stock.
Customers with an account can set a home store location and see the inventory for the three nearest stores, greatly facilitating this process. If no nearby stores have the product a customer is searching for, they also have the option to have it shipped to the store of their choice where they can then pick it up. Both of these services are completely free of charge.
Another major improvement is the adoption of Visa Checkout, a service which customers can sign up for using a credit card of their choice. When making a purchase online, such as on Staples’ website or mobile site, the customer simply has to enter their Visa Checkout username and password and Staples will instantly receive their payment information. This makes the purchase process much simpler and quicker.
Staples is also planning to roll out touch-screen kiosks to all of its store locations in order to facilitate finding items within the store as well as ordering them to be shipped to that location. In addition, the company stated that they plan to reposition the kiosks so they are more visible and useful to customers.
The last of Staples’ slew of enhancements is an unprecedented iPad app. In addition to a full product browsing experience with custom searches and result filtering, the app will provide access to customers’ Staples Rewards balance, past orders (which can be easily reordered) and product availability at nearby locations.
With these changes Staples hopes to remain a major player in both the physical and online markets. By placing an obvious focus on the wants and needs of customers with an updated omnichannel experience, the company is likely to achieve this goal.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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