News

Staples acquires personalization vendor

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – Staples, Inc. has completed the acquisition of Runa, a software company based in San Mateo, Calif., that helps online retailers increase sales by personalizing the shopping experience. Terms and conditions of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Runa has a unique platform and outstanding talent with experience in e-commerce and online marketplaces,” said Ronald Sargent, CEO and chairman, Staples. “With Runa, we’re adding technology to better serve our customers with personalized items, offers, and delivery estimates, all in real-time. Runa will allow us to tap into the wealth of engineering and e-commerce expertise in the Silicon Valley area.”

Staples is continuing to invest in e-commerce capabilities, creating a highly personalized shopping experience and building on its online leadership. Runa’s PerfectOffer serves up automated, data-driven and personalized offers in real-time and PerfectShipping provides real-time personalized delivery estimates and free-shipping offers.

The Runa facility in San Mateo will serve as the newest Staples Lab, following locations in Seattle and Cambridge. In the coming months Staples plans to increase the staff in San Mateo.

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OPERATIONS

Study: Price and product selection key to in-store purchases

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Despite the availability of retail technology, price and product selection are still the largest factors influencing shopper decisions, according to an annual study by global IT services and consulting firm Cognizant. Fifty-five percent of shoppers will leave a store to look online or shop another store if they think a price seems too high, and 21% will ask for a price match.

The fourth Annual Shopper Experience study also revealed that out-of-stocks, followed by prices not clearly marked, are the biggest frustrations when it comes to in-store shopping.

In other findings:

  • Shoppers think Facebook is the most important social technology for stores to use, followed by Pinterest and Blogs, according to the study.
  • Men are more likely than women to buy online and pickup in-store: 61% of male shoppers purchased online and picked up in store versus 41% of women. And 56% of men purchased specialty products online, versus only 29% of women.
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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: Nine-in-10 holiday shoppers overspend

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – More than nine-in-10 (91%) holiday shoppers admit to overspending on presents, according to a new survey from RetailMeNot, with 60% of overspenders saying they do so because they thought giving a gift the person would love was worth the extra money.

In addition, men are more likely to overspend on winter holiday gifts for their significant other than women are (50% compared to 34%). Women are more likely than men to overspend on their children (32% compared to 22%). However, more than one in 10 (14%) winter holiday gift givers overspent because they waited until the last minute and had to pay extra. During the winter holiday season, family members are the most likely to be overspent on, including significant others (44%), children (29%) and mothers (26%), while bosses/co-workers (1%) are the least likely to be overspent on.

Furthermore, 90% of 1,006 adult U.S. respondents surveyed indicated that they intend to shop for winter holiday gifts and plan to spend an average of $167 per person.

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