Staples Simplifies Rebates for Loyalty

Nov 29, 2004

By John Hennessy

Staples Inc. has launched a new paperless online rebate program according to a report on The Staples Easy Rebate program is intended to make retail shopping easier in time for the holiday season using simple, trackable rebates.

Survey responses from those who participated in the original Easy Rebates pilot were extremely positive, an encouraging sign for the company, which hopes to gain greater customer loyalty as a result of the new service.

Customers can use a kiosk in-store, follow a simple online submission process or use traditional paper rebate coupons. One key advantage of the Easy Rebate program is that clipping product UPCs is no longer required.

Moderator’s Comment: What are some other hurdles that can be removed to make it easier for shoppers to shop with you?

This is a strong move by Staples on behalf of its shoppers. Paper-based rebate programs include assumptions that a large percentage of shoppers will not
jump through the hoops required to obtain the rebates they earned; you’ve probably experienced it. This allows retailers and marketers to entice shoppers with large rebates yet
they know they will only have to pay out a fraction of the earned rebate value. I have heard these programs justified by placing the redemption burden on the shopper. “It’s not
my fault if they don’t send in the rebate.”

By eliminating the hoops, Staples and their suppliers will have to pay out more rebate dollars. Their bet is that shoppers will understand and appreciate
that Staples really wants them to get their rebates. The rebate to Staples for this move should be handsome.

John Hennessy – Moderator

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