Staples Gambles On Mobile Over Brick and Mortar

A big box chain with a strong Web presence is betting heavily on the mobile revolution. Office products leviathan Staples says it will concentrate on mobile and online efforts at the expense of its brick and mortar business. The announcement comes after a report shows a dramatic increase in mobile ad share. Many experts argue mobile is becoming a huge channel for business. Here are some things every business owner should know when going mobile.

Buying In

Mobile becomes staple of retail. The days of the big box retailer may truly be numbered as Staples not only pushes to boost mobile and e-commerce efforts, but also vows to shrink its retail square footage in North America by 15 percent over the next three years. The company will also close 45 stores in Europe by the end of 2012, and says it will focus on mobile marketing to grow what it claims is already the second biggest retail business on the Web. ZDNet

Advertising is on the move. A study suggests a dramatic rise in online advertising over the past year, but nowhere nearly as stunning as over mobile channels. Here the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers claim an incredible 95 percent growth spurt in mobile advertising as customers communicate and consume information more and more over mobile devices. E-Commerce Times

Wake-up call

Why we’re romancing the phone. Yep, no doubt about it. We’re in love with our smart phones. So in love, in fact, that mobile communications may be more of a revolution than social media, and businesses need to understand where this relationship is headed, says live media expert Andrea Cook. She’s brought along a big, colorful infographic to show you why. Social Media Explorer

Mobile imitates life. There are a lot of reasons that mobile is taking over, says Tim Hayden, a mobile marketing strategist. One is its ability to engage the offline world. Mobile engagement starts in the physical world, often with traditional media, with searches instigated from things seen on TV, in stores, or on billboards. There are some other reasons your business should be paying attention to the mobile revolution. Edelman Digital

Everything’s In Motion

What’s in store? A less anticipated use of mobile technology is this iPad Kiosk for your brick and mortar retail location. Imagine using mobile technology as way to help your real world customers meet their needs. The biggest question may not be whether this would be a good investment for your business, but rather, what might be the best place to put it. iPad Kiosk Solutions

The best way to talk to humans. If you want to engage with customers, there is no doubt that the way they prefer to communicate is via mobile device, says mobile marketing expert Jed Alpert. In this interview with Chris Hamilton, Jed talks about the best way to think about mobile marketing. It’s doing all the things ordinary marketing entails, but using the channel that’s now most popular with your customers. Sales Tip a Day

Mission critical. If you won’t listen to us, listen to Google. The search engine giant says a mobile presence is critical for business. Here’s a scary stat to consider: Sixty-one percent of users say they’ll move on to another site if they can’t find the information they’re looking for in a mobile format. You may be loosing visitors right now who have no patience with a Web presence that doesn’t cater to their smartphone or tablet! Small Business Trends

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.