Staples Store Web App

New Mobile App Brings Easy to Customers’ iPhones

Staples, the world’s largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions, today announced a new mobile app that brings easy to customers’ iPhones. The new Staples iPhone app makes it easy for customers to research and shop for everything they need for their small business or home office, whether on the go or in a Staples store.

Staples Store Web App

The new app makes cross- channel shopping easier, allowing customers to get the best of the and in-store shopping experience. Customers can quickly access rich product information and ratings and reviews while in-store, or find the nearest Staples store with the specific product they need by using the app’s store locator and inventory check feature. In addition, the app provides more ways to save via its store check-in feature which offers special coupons and promotions when a customer enters a Staples store with their iPhone.

“Staples understands the importance of allowing customers to shop where, when and how it’s convenient for them,” said Steve Bussberg, senior vice president, “Whether it be in-store or on-the-go we know that more and more customers are turning to their mobile devices. Our new iPhone app makes the shopping experience even easier at Staples.”

Based on direct input from customers, the new app is designed to meet the needs of small businesses. The app makes it easier to find and buy the right ink & toner and order most frequently used items with a smart list builder. In addition, customers can opt to receive Staples Rewards alert messages when they earn new Rewards or have Rewards that are about to expire.

A version of the app for Android mobile devices is under development and will be available soon. Staples’ overall mobile experience also includes a mobile version of

[via MarketWatch]

Toys R Us Black Friday Cyber Monday

Walmart, Old Navy Drive Traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about driving customers into stores and increasing online traffic while boosting sales.

Retailers craft television, print, social, online and in-store promotions to drive traffic. Whether they are pushing deep discounts or grabbing customers’ attention with quirky (and sometimes downright bizarre) tactics, marketing plans are an essential part of the after-Thanksgiving madness.

Toys R Us Black Friday Cyber Monday

The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, began luring its customers to its brick-and-mortar doors by starting Black Friday sales on Thursday night. Similarly, its plan to draw customers to its website began a day early by offering online discounts on Sunday. To keep driving web traffic, the retailer has extended Cyber Monday to include Cyber Week, which it is heavily advertising through television commercials.

Walmart’s Cyber Week sales include deals on gadgets, toys and home goods. For example, a 32-inch Toshiba LCD HDTV is on sale for $249 and Xbox holiday gamer bundles run for $319. The site will offer free shipping on orders of more than $45 on qualifying products.

Here’s what other major retailers’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing techniques consisted of:

  • On both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Toys “R” Us promoted 70% off savings on its Facebook and Twitter feeds, linking directly to the company’s e-commerce site.
  • Old Navy had a Black Friday blockbuster gift with purchase: a Kodak Easyshare Sport waterproof digital camera bundle, free with a $40 purchase.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue offered an additional 50% off previously reduced merchandise until noon on Black Friday. had markdowns up to 70% off online for a time on Black Friday, but the percentage off reverted to 55% off (over multiple price reductions) on Saturday following Thanksgiving. The 55% ended Sunday night. Saks also offered triple points the Sunday before Thanksgiving, which appears to be a new event designed to drive traffic to the web prior to the big sale period.
  • All Abercrombie & Fitch stores had shirtless men and lifeguards at the store entry for picture taking.

[via RIS News]

Black Friday Retail Localization

Black Friday: Were Early Openings a Success?

"Early morning openings appear to have been well worth it for both retailers and holiday shoppers, with many Americans believing that deals were too good to pass up regardless of who they were shopping for – themselves or others," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in the press release.

Black Friday Retail Localization

But police, too, have been busy keeping shoppers in control. Black Friday may be proving to be prosperous for retailers, but it’s bringing out the worst is consumers.

Note: There isn’t mayhem in every store in ever market, but there have been enough incidents to make Black Friday violence newsworthy.

Here’s MSNBC’s rolling report of Black Friday incidents from across the U.S.

And here’s a video from showing an incident of shopping violence, as captured by a shopper in what appears to be a Walmart store.

[via MultiChannel Merchant]

Cell Phone Mall Retail Localization

Mall Tracking Cellphone Users During Holiday Season

The Promenade mall in Temecula is using cellphone tracking techology to monitor the movement of folks in and around the shopping center during the holiday season.

Cell Phone Mall Retail Localization

The decision to employ the system, called FootPath Technology, has some residents concerned about privacy issues. The mall’s management said Wednesday the system is completely anonymous, and those worried about their location data being collected can opt out by turning off their phones.

“It’s just a ping,” said Kym Espinosa, marketing director for The Promenade. “It shows us how a customer is moving around the center. It doesn’t tell us what movie they saw or if they had a fight with their girlfriend that afternoon.”

The “ping” she’s talking about is the dot that pops up on a map after the system identifies a cellphone signal. That ping, she assured, does not give the mall any information about the person who is holding the phone.

[via The Californian]

Retail Localization Empty Shelves

Poll: Retailers to lose customers if shelves aren’t full

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults would avoid shopping at a retail store if they encountered empty shelves, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by Galleria Retail Technology Solutions, a provider of retail and category optimization solutions.

Retail Localization Empty Shelves

The phone survey took a random sample of 1,021 U.S. adults regarding retail store loyalty. The survey also found that women are more likely than men to avoid shopping at a particular retail store if they encounter empty shelves during their visit.

“As we approach Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, retailers need to note that making sure their shelves are fully stocked is critical when it comes to retaining loyal customers,” said Bryan Eckhoff, executive vice president of sales and account management for North America, Galleria. “The cost of empty shelves can be extremely high. Out-of-stocks can force consumers to migrate from a particular store, risking the loss of the value of an entire shopper’s basket, not just one product. Consistent out-of-stocks may force the permanent loss of that customer.”

Key findings include:

  • More than two out of three (68 percent) U.S. adults would avoid shopping at a particular retail store if they encountered empty shelves.
  • Women are more likely than men to say empty shelves would cause them to avoid shopping at a given store (73 percent versus 62 percent respectively).
  • Nearly two out of three U.S. adults would shun a retail store due to long check-out lines (64 percent), desired items out of stock (63 percent), or difficulty finding desired items (62 percent).

“Statistics have shown that it costs five times more to obtain a new customer than to retain an existing customer,” Eckhoff said. “In the current U.S. economic climate when consumers are more cost conscious than ever, retailers should make every effort to ensure they have the right products, in the right place at the right time to keep their customers happy…and coming back.”


Barney’s New York Presents: Lady Gaga’s Workshop!

The holidays are right around the corner and Gaga’s Workshop at Barneys New York is officially open for business. The Lady has taken over the whole store!

The singer’s latest enterprise, a Christmas menagerie in the iconic store’s Upper East Side flagship location, is essentially 5,500 square feet of pure Gaga.

How else can we describe displays like this …

Gaga at Barneys

From a wig-shaped boudoir to colorful snake statues that double as clothing racks, “We wanted it to be whimsical and fun, with a sense of art and fashion,” said Gaga.

The 25-year-old “Born This Way” singer, the hardest working woman in show business, took the time to design the entire shop with her stylist Nicola Formichetti.

The shop also sells stuffed animals, books Gaga read in her childhood, and an exclusive jewelry line, a collaboration with Erickson Beamon, which donates 25 percent of all the proceeds to Gaga’s newly-created Born This Way Foundation.

Definitely worth stopping by if you’re in NYC this month and next.


Bloomingdale’s holiday windows bring the store’s shopping bags to life

Vintage is hot at Bloomingdale’s this season, even in the department store’s holiday windows.

Five display cases, to be unveiled Wednesday night along the Lexington Ave. side of the 59th St. flagship store, will bring to life holiday shopping bags from years past.

“When we came up with the concept of the shopping bags, we really wanted some Bloomingdale’s DNA in our holiday window presentation,” says John Klimkowski, operating vice president and creative director of visual and merchandising presentation.

“So many customers love and collect our bags, and we love the artistry that the bags bring to our seasonal campaigns,” he adds. “I get such a kick out of being on the train and seeing, just in my one train car, three different campaigns of Bloomingdale’s bags that customers are still carrying around and enjoy.”

Klimkowski compares choosing his favorite vintage window of the five with a parent deciding which child they like best, but he eventually offers one up — “Penguin With Coveted Holiday Gift.” It’s based on a Bloomingdale’s paper bag from the 1992 holiday season.

“The bag shows a penguin coveting a gift package, reminiscent of how a penguin hatches its egg,” he explains. “So when the window opens, as a surprise, the babies are hatched and it’s spring. They all have their sunglasses on and are walking around.”

It’s one of two vintage bags that spin on a turntable, to show both an imprint of the actual shopping bag inspiration on one side and then the interior diorama on the other. The remaining three bags open up to reveal their designs.

A “Santa and Reindeer” window has roots in a 1978 bag that showed the Christmas characters ice-skating on the East River.

“That bag [in the display] opens up and you find Santa and the reindeer skating in Central Park with other skaters,” Klimkowski. “To bring it into the world of today, they are skating with their iPods.

[via New York Daily News]

Social Metrics Juice Retail Localization

Social Metrics Juiced By New Retail Index

The most recent example is Media Logic’s “Retail Social Juice Index” which purports to measure social engagement for roughly 500 brands across social networks, which it then distills into a single metric.

Social Metrics Juice Retail Localization

Published daily, the scores are supposed to represent the effectiveness of brands’ social-promotional efforts.

In addition to publishing an industry average on a daily basis, the Juice Index highlights each day’s biggest movers. Subscribers can also track up to five brands of their choosing and receive free weekly updates and analysis.

“We have designed the Index specifically for national retailers, but we think businesses and institutions of all sorts will find it quite valuable,” said David Schultz, president of Media Logic.

Using the index, Schultz says retailers can also more easly link to the Facebook and Twitter pages of the biggest movers, up or down, to discover what might be driving social engagement.

The formula Media Logic is using to arrive at the Index number is based on a review of published data, as well as the agency’s own analysis. Schultz said the agency worked to create an algorithm that adjusted for key factors and properly weighted various types of brand and fan interaction.

After testing and adjusting the formula for several months, Schultz said he was confident the index will provide an accurate measure of social engagement between brands across all measured retail sectors.

Still, that doesn’t mean that marketers will pick Media Logic’s tools over others.

Among 100 Facebook advertisers, Coca-Cola ranked the world’s No. 1 brand, with a following on Facebook of 34 million fans — and growing at a monthly rate of nearly 3% — according to a recent white paper from Covario,

The purpose of the white paper, released in October, was to develop a series of metrics and best practices for managing continuous improvement on Facebook in order for advertisers to better measure their relative performance.


Toys 'R' Us Black Friday

A Look at Toys ‘R’ Us’s Holiday 2011 Mobile Strategy

Toys ‘R’ Us today announced Friday that it has expanded its mobile offerings for the 2011 holiday season. Here’s a look at what the multichannel toy seller is doing to bring an enhanced mobile experience to its customers.

Toys 'R' Us Black Friday

Expanded Gift Finder app offerings: By the end of November, Toys ‘R’ Us hopes to have its Gift Finder app available for both iPhones and Androids. A version is currently available for the iPad. The Gift Finder asks gift-givers a series of questions about the child they’re shopping for, and provides gift suggestions based on age and interests. When customers search for a product, they will be able to sort the results by relevance, best-selling items, top-rated items or price.


Milo and RedLaser 3.0 iPhone integration: Through the company’s partnership with eBay, Toys ‘R’Us’s local inventory searchable on mobile apps Milo and RedLaser 3.0. Using the RedLaser 3.0 app for iPhone, customers can pay for the item they’re looking for within the app, and then pick up their item at a nearby store.

Location-Based programs Foursquare and shopkick: On Thanksgiving and Black Friday, customers can check-in at their local store via Foursquare to receive the Geoffrey Holiday Badge, while supplies last. After unlocking the badge, those who check-in can redeem a coupon for 15% off a purchase of $150 or more between Nov. 27 and Dec. 3.

In addition, Super Swarm deals will be unlocked when 15 people check in at the same Toys ‘R’ Us location within a three-hour timeframe on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, allowing participants to choose additional discounts.

Throughout the remainder of the holiday season, shoppers can unlock the Geoffrey Holiday Badge and additional special savings opportunities when checking in at Toys ‘R’ Us on Foursquare.

In approximately 100 Toys ‘R’ Us stores in the New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles metro areas, customers using Shopkick will also be eligible for certain deals from Thanksgiving through Saturday, Nov. 26, that can be redeemed the following week.

Google Wallet Availability: Customers in approximately 200 Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores in major metro areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco can use their phone to pay for their purchases using Google Wallet. The NFC-enabled Google Wallet is presently available on Sprint Nexus S 4G phones.

QR Codes: Toys ‘R’ Us says its customers have responded enthusiastically to QR codes that the company has used to supplement print advertising vehicles, product packaging and in-store signage. For example, in the approximately two weeks following the launch of The Great Big Toys ‘R’ Us Book, the four product-specific QR codes throughout the catalog were scanned tens of thousands of times. Each item’s accompanying QR code lets viewers see demonstrations of the product in action.

QR codes are also available as part of in-store signage and on individual product packaging to showcase product demos or provide additional information on how a particular program works.


Retail Localization, Digital, Profitability

5 Store Management Factors Vital to Retail Profitability

Successful retail campaign execution in a mobile age

According to most job descriptions for retail general managers, their chief responsibilities center on hiring, training and supporting store employees, merchandise management at the store level rarely enters the discussion. Yet, according to a recent RSR report, retail localization is paramount to a store’s overall profitability.

The respondents say that merchandise management, employee selection and customer service combined lead to an increase in store profitability. “Basically our respondents are saying that improved customer satisfaction is supported by operational excellence at the store level.”

Retail Localization and Profitability

The top five factors for retail company success:

  1. Store profitability – 80%
  2. Customer satisfaction management – 75%
  3. Merchandise/Inventory management – 70%
  4. Management development – 68%
  5. Employee selection & retention – 66%

*based on the percentage of respondents who voted them “very important.”

Retail Localization, Digital, Profitability

RSR examined a number of retail companies and broke them down into “winners” and “losers” based on their ability to effectively combine employee management, retail localization and customer satisfaction. The “winners” were left with one remaining challenge; executing campaigns by getting faster and more accurate information to the store managers faster.

“Winners are much more invested in technologies that schedule task management and the labor mix, and are also much more aggressive in their adoption of sending key performance indicators and alerts to store managers via mobile devices.”

Companies that understand the interrelation between all three areas key to improved profitability are looking to mobile devices to streamline and expedite the relay of information.