Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Staples Acquires Runa

Staples is now going strong with the new acquisition of Runa, a start-up from the silicon valley which specializes in e-commerce personalization technology. This strategic move will emerge Staples into a deeper battle of competition between its rival, Amazon. Staples plans to use Runa as a tool to gain more world wide market share from e-commerce sales of office supplies.

The plan with Runa which was founded in 2009, is to create personalization algorithms that "help draw shoppers in further and also keep them from abandoning their shopping halfway through a site visit." This is a major problem for e-commerce websites since the programs many times are not user friendly because they fail to display the needed items to the customer. Besides the personalization, with Runa's "Perfect Shipping" Staples plans to provide customers with real time delivery estimates and free shipping offers.

While I find that this new acquisition might make Staples-Online more user friendly I believe that it will not have as much impact in regards to Staples' online sales. Staples is generally considered more as a "brick and mortar" business and it will have difficulties as it enters the e-commerce market. Amazon has a much more favorable competitive advantage in this arena. I find that besides acquiring technology companies such as Runa, it will need to invest a lot more on online advertising in order to reach more customers.


RUNA CEO                                                          Staples' new personalization algorithms

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