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Just to be Clear: Staples' Products are FOR SALE!

Posted on August 13, 2008 by Tim

A while back I was perusing through a brick-and-mortar Staples and I saw this.  The "Beauty Bamboo Ceramic" priced at $9.99.


Products are for sale at Staples

What caught my eye wasn't the beautiful foliage or the simple ceramic pot.  What turned my head was the "FOR SALE" sign in ALL CAPS affixed to the plants branch.

Even though the plant was in the middle of Staples (the largest office supplies retailer on the planet), on a rack chock full of fake plants, in the middle of the furniture section, and product names and prices were clearly posted in association with the plants, someone (maybe the manufacturer?) saw fit to make sure everyone knew that these plants were "FOR SALE".

I wonder how many people are walking through Staples and notice this plant thinking "Man, this is such a great fake plant on this entire rack full of fake plants in the middle of the furniture section with all these price signs everywhere.  I sure wish it was for sale, instead of just decorating Staples.  OH CRAP!  Look at that sign.  It is FOR SALE!  EUREKA!".

What if we had to do this in eCommerce?  What if on product detail pages we had to display a banner shouting "FOR SALE" in order to make sure customers understood that our products were, indeed, for sale.  Shoot, do we?

One would hope that any sophisticated internet retailer presents itself in such a manner so that customers understand when they are looking at a product that happens to be... FOR SALE.


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