Staples launches paperless retail rebates scheme

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on November 23, 2004

Staples launches paperless retail rebates scheme

The US-based office superstore chain Staples Inc. has launched a new paperless online rebate programme with the aim of replacing paper rebate coupons that are typically obtained in store to be mailed back to the product's manufacturer or distributor for a rebate cheque by mail.

The Staples Easy Rebates programme, created in conjunction with marketing services and transaction processing firm Parago Inc, is intended to make retail shopping easier in time for the holiday season using simple and trackable rebates. Staples' retail, catalogue and online customers can already use the web-based system to submit rebate information for hundreds of different items, removing the need for the often-lengthy mail-in rebate process.

Old frustrations According to Staples, the programme was developed in response to customer feedback concerning the frustration of the existing mail-in rebate process. The company even offers a "no hassle, no clipping, no mailing" guarantee. The programme includes a number of high value rebates in the technology and office supply categories, including Hewlett Packard, Panasonic and Konica Minolta products.

Survey respondents who participated in the original Easy Rebates pilot scheme were extremely positive, affirming the company's expectation of greater customer loyalty as a result of the new service.

"As we head into the holiday shopping season, we want to be sure that our customers can purchase their holiday gifts via our retail stores, catalogue or web site, and that they can enjoy easy and trackable rebates," said Jim Sherlock, director of sales and merchandise for Staples.

Checkout alerts The Easy Rebates programme alerts the customer at the checkout if there are any products within their order that are eligible for rebates, and directs them to the web site. There, an online tool takes them through a simple submission process and then automatically sends e-mail notifications about the rebate's status, including when the rebate cheque has been mailed to them. The estimated delivery time for rebate cheques from Easy Rebates is currently 4-6 weeks.

Few exceptions According to Sherlock, very few of the company's products are not eligible for Easy Rebates - for example rebates that feature premium offers and software products. For those consumers who prefer to mail their rebate vouchers in, traditional paper rebate coupons remain available. One of the key advantages of the new rebates is that - even in printed voucher format - they don't require the consumer to clip the UPC code from the product packaging. For a little added convenience, kiosks at Staples stores can also be used to submit Easy Rebates.

For additional information: ·  Visit Staples at ·  Visit Parago at