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Marketing & Sales News 6/7/12

Why Staples is Investing Big in Mobile Commerce

As an M&A investment banker focused on the e-commerce sector, and creator of the Web-only Retail Index, a diverse group of constituents have asked me to comment on the macro environment for the office products category and outlook for mobile commerce in particular.

Amazon Supply

On April 23rd Amazon (AMZN), the largest consumer e-commerce site, announced that it intends to shower attention on corporations and business with the launch of AmazonSupply.com, a business-to-business e-commerce site.  One product category targeted in particular is office products.

If stock returns over the past two years (Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax down by -35.0%, -62.4% and -73.2% respectively) are predictive of future performance, all eyes are focused on each competitors strategic plans.

During his keynote address to the Mobile Workshop June 8 at the IRCE 2012, Brian Tilzer, Vice President of Global e-Commerce said, “Mobile is a constantly evolving space and you have to be continually thinking about your next move.”

“More and more shoppers are turning to their mobile devices as a way to research and shop whenever and wherever they want.  Staples is thinking ahead and anticipating customers’ needs, providing an offering that not only serves as an m-commerce tool but listens to, and solves, customers’ pain points.”

To these ends Staples focuses on saving time for small business owners, so they have more of it to dedicate to their businesses.  Time savers incorporated into the latest mobile app include an optimized ink & toner finder, access to Staples Rewards, list building functionality and batch scanning.

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