Staples and phones

Staples Revamps its Mobile Thinking to Compete With Best Buy Stores

August 26, 2013 - Written By Cory McNutt

Staples has made a lot of changes since first opening its doors in Massachusetts in 1986 as it grew to over 2000 stores in 26 countries, with walk-in and online services. Staples sells just about anything you could need in a typical business environment – supplies, office machines, furniture, promotional products, PCs, and mobile technology, the latter they hope to grow.

Staples is smart enough to see where the future of business communications is going and that is why they are trying to increase the sales of tablets and smartphones, with full intentions of competing with the likes of Best Buy. Staples is trying to increase sales by altering the way they approach this area of marketing. The concept that worked for Best Buy is their “store within the store” approach, but when Staples tried to segregate the mobile area in their stores and use dedicated mobile sales personnel, they found that did not work for them.

Starting in September, Staple will train and utilize all electronic sales personnel to sell mobile phones and accessories, as well as offer a new commission structure to encourage those types of sales. Employees will be cross-trained on all AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless devices and plans offered by each carrier. In documents leaked to Geek.com, it shows Staples’ plan to increase sales in this growing area.

Mobile Re-Launch OverviewWhen this transition is complete, all electronics personnel will be trained to use the new tools to activate customers on all three carriers. By absorbing the Mobility position of 40-60 hours per week, into the electronics department, where they are only adding 20 additional hours, Staples should save some paid hours as well.

CommissionCurrently, the national average of phones sold in each store per week is only four – the Mobility re-launch program hopes to dramatically increase that sales figure. By increasing the commission on accessory sales from $17 to $60 per activation, Staples hopes to encourage their sales personnel to more aggressively push sales of these items. The commission plans will also include a $35 new phone line activation as well as a team-wide sales goals.

Course ObjectivesStaples must refocus on their mobile sales and change advertising to entice customers to think of Staples when it comes to their smartphone or tablet needs. It is hard to refocus customers from thinking of Staples only for office furniture, copier paper, ink cartridges, and, well, staples.

Do you think of Staples for your electronic mobile needs or simply an office supply store.