Tips From Office Depot’s CIO

One of the best learning experiences small businesses can get is to take what successes larger businesses have had and implement them. Of course even better than this it to know the success of businesses in your industry and your size and duplicate their success as well.
ZD Net has a series of videos of CIO’s of larger businesses that’s very informative.
One of the recent videos I was looking at was that of Tim Toews, CIO of Office Depot who talks to ZDNet editor-in-chief, Dan Farber about selling office supplies across its retail and e-tail network.
What are the lessons learned?

Office Depot is improving the search for products on its web site to ensure that customers searching for products on can find the products they need.
Tim also explained that having one central database for customers was also important so that customers purchasing online would have the same experience and customer discounts when purchasing in a retail store.
Wireless technologies is something Officedepot (and its competitors) is constantly evaluating to increase the speed of delivery of products to customers.
On its web site Officedepot has personalized shopping lists so customers can store their frequently purchased items and buy them easier. is one of the best examples of the online shopping experience and one can expect Officedepot to have some of these kinds of features, such as user product reviews as well.
What does this mean for your small businesses.
If you have customer information in multiple databases or scraps of paper, implement one central database for storing customer information.
Your web site must be upgraded and built FOR CUSTOMERS. This means search, navigation, check out and the entire process of helping customers know what product for them must be constant evaluated and improved.