Assignment #4 Internet Technology, Marketing, and Security| Dr. Marilyn Carroll|
Internet Technology, Marketing, and Security
The corporation I decided to discuss for this assignment is Staples; it’s the world's largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. Staples provide products, services and expertise in the categories of office supplies, technology, furniture, Copy & Print, and cleaning and breakroom (Staples Corporate Page, 2012). Staple’s was founded in 1986 and is headquartered outside Boston, Massachusetts. The company employs 90,000 people worldwide and is currently ranked second in the world in ecommerce sales today with annual sales of $25 billion. Staples has a presence in more than 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia (Staples Corporate Page, 2012). Staples.com, a division of Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS), is creating a business-to-business electronic marketplace offering a comprehensive solution for the office needs of business customers. It currently provides an electronic marketplace where small, mid-sized and large businesses can procure office products and business services and obtain business information and expert content. Staples.com includes the operations of Staples Inc.'s e-commerce sites: Staples.com, Quill.com and StaplesLink.com, and its Canadian e-commerce business (Arrington, 2011). The firm defines the ‘industry’ as all retail-online-direct mail and superstore companies. The industry is highly fragmented and penetration varies according to geographic region (Young, 2009). Staples.com is comprehensively set up to make a shoppers experience easy and informative, however it wasn’t always this way and vast improvements has been made over the last three years to make the site shopper friendly. If needed, a customer can find Staple’s contact information located at the bottom of the main page under the Site Help and Feedback grouping. Once clicked a separate page is launched with a large heading that reads Contact Us. There are several headings related to possible issues for which customers may need assistance. The contact us page offers a Help Center Menu, Shipping and Returns Menu, Policies and Legal menu, Order Support menu, Price Match Guarantee menu, Staple’s Reward menu and F.A.Q menu. Staple’s also offer telephone, email, and online chat as methods to contact them. However, the listing of contact information for its corporate headquarters address and phone number is not on this page; it’s actually located under Corporate Information grouping which is also located at the bottom of the main page. Personally, I don’t like having to search hard to find the contact information to a company’s headquarters. In my opinion it should placed under the Help menu. As for customization of products for customers, is not an option on the website but a physical store location has ‘Staples Design Services” which can perform special jobs in its copy center. The Staples Design Center can produce professional and expert design services in the area of business cards, flyers, presentations, forms, signs, banners and newsletters (Staples Corporate Page, 2012). Staples serves as a pickup location for UPS shipping, so when customers special jobs are finished they can promptly ship a package right from the location if needed. Staples also offers Faxing and Scanning services at low rates and allows a customer to store documents and photos digitally. At the time of checkout on Staples.com’s site one can sign in as a returning customer or proceed as a guest. There is an option to create an account. This process requests the following information; first and last name, creation of a password, at the creation of the account it is required to check a box acknowledging the privacy policies of Staples. At the point of checkout additional information is...