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Staples Goes “New School” With Bloomreach Discovery

Staples is a global retailer and a leading provider of business solutions with its digital operation ranking No.5 in the Internet Retailer 500. 

Staples boasts multiple websites across North America, including the consumer and SMB-facing, and B2B property

revenue per visitor (RPV) lift on
revenue per visitor (RPV) lift on
less time spent manually tuning sites by onsite search team

The Challenge

With Amazon and other retailers threatening industry dominance, Staples needed to act quickly. It set out to find a data-driven response to market changes that provided personalization and relevance at scale. 

The company had the challenge to automate the work involved in surfacing the relevant products that Staples’ customers were searching for. Its legacy system didn’t take into account customer behavior on the Staples sites or the wider web.

The Solution

Staples increased its number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) on its websites to two million —a 10-fold increase—and charted a course to become a B2B one-stop shop for businesses across the world. 

In a three-way, head-to-head-to-head test across its various sites, Staples pitted Bloomreach Discovery (specifically the Search and Merchandising module) against its legacy system and another competitor. 

The Staples team compared revenue per visit (RPV) and conversion rate and the winner was clear and obvious: Bloomreach Discovery.

The Results

Bloomreach Search and Merchandising provided an overall incremental lift in revenue per visit of 3.5 percent across its North American eCommerce sites. That translates into an annual revenue increase of more than $100 million. 

Moving to a more data-driven approach that incorporates users’ behavior on the site and the web means that the Staples onsite search team has a better balance of human and machine. Now, the team can focus on more advanced analytics, A/B tests, and user-experience projects that promote the retailer’s key initiatives, while allowing the algorithms to manage the optimization effort of the company’s higher level business initiatives moving forward.