By Rose Spicer-Oracle on Jul 02, 2014
To understand exactly what’s top of mind when it comes to digital retailing, go no further the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) held last month in Chicago. Our team was there to host customer events and attend sessions by industry leaders, including Oracle customers Shop Direct, Sephora, Office Depot, NetShoes, Sur La Table and Dress Barn.
Throughout the week, retailers shared just how extensively mobile influences sales. Among them, Sephora expects that by 2017 consumers will use a mobile device in half of all purchases, decal retailer Fathead said the same and Shop Direct predicts 100 percent of its sales will involve mobile within a year.
As consumers use mobile devices to shop anytime and anywhere they want, a few retailers are already greeting them with the right experience, the right selection of products and nearby service and support.
Case in point is Staples, second only to Amazon in North American online sales. Staples is well into a major transformation in which the retailer has expanded to more than a million SKUs and made it convenient for customers to buy online and have items delivered or waiting for pickup in a nearby store. 84 percent of customers are businesses, and Staples provides them easy access to tech repairs, 3D printing, Apple products and, soon, a Steelcase store within a store.
Speaking at IRCE, Staples EVP of Global E-Commerce, Faisal Masud, described design, performance and search improvements that helped to increase sales conversions by 10 percent and moved revenue per online visitor up 9 percent.
Staples personalizes the e-commerce session with your local store info to facilitate cross-channel buys. The company saw an “exponential improvement in sales” after revamping mobile to display just the products customers care about, and earlier this summer a new tablet app immediately increased conversions.
Underpinning the commerce anywhere strategy are inventory systems that recognize both store and online orders, including any order placed via a mobile app. “Without a seamless unified inventory model, the Omni-channel experience would not be possible,” said Masud.
For a closer look at Staples’ transformation, read more by Internet Retailer managing editor Zak Stambor.