Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) has vastly expanded the options available to mobile shoppers with the rollout of the Staples Exchange, a new e-commerce platform that allows the company's vendors to sell directly to customers.
The new service will not only dramatically increase the product assortment available to shoppers across all of Staples' e-commerce channels, it will also provide better tracking for orders and more transparency as to what items are available.
"As we continue to enhance our mobile shopping experience, adding more products and services for our customers to choose from is a top priority," said Faisal Masud, executive VP, global e-commerce. "Staples Exchange will allow us to bring even more suppliers onto Staples' e-commerce channels and will offer improved order tracking for customers, making it even easier for them to quickly get the products they need to succeed."
The new platform will also be convenient for suppliers, as Staples Exchange won't require them to use third parties that charge integration fees. The one service will allow them to sell through any of Staples' sites, which currently includes Staples.com but will also encompass Staples Advantage, Staples Canada and Quill.com in 2015.
The launch of Staples Exchange is a big step for the office supply chain as it continues to make efforts at increasing efficiency and improving the e-commerce experience. The retailer's Canadian wing already shut down stores in October, and Staples announced the opening of an e-commerce test lab earlier in the year.
The new exchange puts those initiatives into action by expanding product assortment without having to shoulder the cost of extra storage or purchases, and obviously puts more emphasis on mobile and e-commerce. The platform is just Staples' latest effort to stay ahead of the technological curve, on the heels of launching an iPad app and the Staples Connect service as it tries to keep up with competitors like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and a merged Office Depot and OfficeMax (NASDAQ:ODP).
*This story originally appeared in FierceRetailIT's sister publication, FierceMobileRetail.
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