The recent launch of version 2.0 of the office supply retailer's iPhone app offers insight into the company's growing success with their mobile business strategy.

Staples’ latest iPhone app (2.0) has redesigned its signature Easy Button into a mobile shopping accelerator, adopting several features to respond to the dynamic needs and use cases of its small business clientele. But perhaps more interestingly, the process undertaken by Staples to adapt to and drive the growth of its mobile business depicts a company whose growing success with its mobile strategy has the opportunity to influence and reshape its broader retail business strategy.

Following its mobile site redesign a few months ago, Staples experienced an acceleration in customer adoption of its mobile site, which now accounts for about 14% of all online activity — exceeding recent benchmarks from the holiday season. To adapt to this growth in customer demand, Staples conducted ethnographic research to identify and understand multiple use cases for small businesses. The results were several feature improvements for the mobile app, stemming from the needs of small business: a feature specifically for timely printer cartridge replacement, synchronization of shopping lists across both desktop and app, and barcode scanning to maintain inventory of supplies that are running low. Also of note, is the addition of an in-store mode that activates if a user checks in at a Staples retail store. That setting will prioritize different features, including a coupon wallet to utilize in-store.

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