Executive Briefings

Was That Easy? Staples Experiments With Ordering at Push of a Button

Many retailers are likely familiar with and perhaps even own a Staples Easy Button. They may have even tapped the tchotchke a time or two, prompting the bright red plastic button to cheerfully chirp the office supply retailer's tagline, "That was easy!" But calling out the retailer's tagline was the extent of the Easy Button's capabilities. Until now.

The office supplies retailer is testing the incorporation of technology into the button to enable shoppers to press the button to order or reorder a product by voice, or to ask common order-related questions, such as when an order will be delivered or the status of a return.

The move is part of a big push by Staples Inc. to use machine learning to automate ordering and customer service, says Ryan Bartley, director of mobile for Staples. Machine learning is a technology that develops computer programs to teach themselves to grow and change when exposed to new data instead of being explicitly programmed by an individual. 

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The office supplies retailer is testing the incorporation of technology into the button to enable shoppers to press the button to order or reorder a product by voice, or to ask common order-related questions, such as when an order will be delivered or the status of a return.

The move is part of a big push by Staples Inc. to use machine learning to automate ordering and customer service, says Ryan Bartley, director of mobile for Staples. Machine learning is a technology that develops computer programs to teach themselves to grow and change when exposed to new data instead of being explicitly programmed by an individual. 

Read Full Article