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Staples Launches New for Easy Online Shopping; Reinvented E-commerce Site Driven by Comprehensive Customer Research

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 27, 2005--Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) announced today the launch of a reinvented, its award winning Web site. The relaunch of is the result of some of the most customer-centric research processes ever applied to one single e-commerce site, including detailed customer persona research and extensive usability testing with small business and home office customers.

The redesigned site reflects Staples' commitment to making it easy to buy office products. Site enhancements at each stage of the purchase process make it easy to find the right products, easy to order and easy to checkout.

"The new is the site that our customers built, resulting in an easier online shopping experience," said Brian Light, executive vice president of Staples Business Delivery. "Our expert usability team applied state-of-the art customer research methodologies to identify characteristics of our key customers so that we could design the site specifically for them. This work, along with a tireless cross-functional effort with our merchandising, marketing, creative and information systems teams, enables our customers to get in, get out and get on with their busy day."

Staples applied qualitative and quantitative customer research through every step of the site design process, incorporating feedback from thousands of customers along the way. Staples is one of few retailers to use customer persona research at the Web site level to design based on specific customer shopping characteristics. From this research, the primary Staples customer personas, or types,--"Lisa Listmaker" and "Sammy Specific"--were born.

Lisa Listmaker is an office manager whose main goal is to get the order done as quickly as possible. She usually has a detailed list of her "standard order" with item numbers for each product handy while ordering. She shops most often via, in addition to using her Staples catalog and visiting her local Staples store, and usually completes the order in one visit--true to her "in-and-out" nature. She likes special deals if they'll help her save the office even more.

Sammy Specific runs a small business and is not a planner when it comes to buying office products. Among other characteristics, Sammy typically does not shop by item number, but knows the products he needs by brand and/or general specifications.

The new is designed to serve Lisa Listmaker, Sammy Specific and other customer personas with the following new and enhanced features:

    Easy to Find Features

  • homepage: Staples' usability team conducted a process called "card sorting" with more than 5,000 customers to create a simplified and improved product categorization with all product categories "above the fold." The improvements make it easier to find the right products among more than 40,000 available.

  • "Learn More About" and "Help Me Decide" tools: easily choose the right product from recommendations based on what's important to you.

  • New navigation tabs: "My Account" to easily manage your account; "Ink & Toner" tab for easy ordering of this key item customers always need; and a "Specials" tab to highlight weekly deals and other savings opportunities all in one place.

  • Easy to Order Features

  • "Easy Reorder:" quickly shop using past orders. Staples keeps track of what you've purchased online, by phone and/or fax in your "Easy Reorder" lists.

  • "Add to Cart:" patent-pending functionality that makes it faster to select multiple products from a list and add them all to your cart.

  • "Necessary and Recommended" products: If you are ordering a product that needs another item to make it work, Staples lets you know. For example, if you're buying a printer, you'll be reminded that you also need a cable. Staples also suggests recommended items to accompany a purchase such as a carrying case for a new camera.

  • Easy to Check Out Features

  • Staples Easy Rebates(SM): Now it's even easier to take advantage of Easy Rebates. Launched in late 2004, Easy Rebates enables customers to quickly submit rebates online for processing with no cutting or mailing. Customers receive confirmation of rebate submission sent via email with a tracking number. More than 90 percent of customers surveyed since the introduction have said the submission process was easy, they would use it again and they would recommend it to a friend.

  • Enhanced package tracking: quickly get all your order details--when you'll receive it, where it is now and in how many shipments it will be sent.

To find out more about these and other easy features in the reinvented, click on

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 65,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2004 sales of $14.4 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,680 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at

CONTACT: Staples, Inc.
Owen Davis, 508-253-8468
Aimee Yoon, 617-275-7082

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.