Staples Inc.

Revolutionizing customer service with the push of a button and IBM Watson

Published on 26 Oct 2016

We wanted to remove constraints and make the process of ordering supplies as easy as possible.

Ian Goodwin, Lead Product Manager of the Staples Easy System, Staples Inc.

Staples Inc.


Deployment country
United States


Staples Inc., founded in 1986 and headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, in the US, is a global provider of business products and services. The company serves Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies, small businesses, and consumers throughout North America, Europe, Australia, South America and Asia. It operates nearly 1,900 retail stores and is the fifth largest e-commerce company in the world, through its website and contract business. In 2016, the company reported USD 21 billion in annual sales and employed approximately 75,000 people.

Business need
To provide anywhere, anytime service, Staples sought to remove the friction of ordering from its stores and websites and instead use its Easy Button to become part of the customer’s daily routine.

Using the natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning capabilities of the IBM® Watson™ platform and a host of Watson cognitive APIs, Staples transformed its Easy Button into an intelligent ordering ecosystem that business customers can use to order supplies easily using voice, text or email.

By introducing Watson technology across its many channels, Staples expects to increase order frequency, boost average order sizes and improve customer service scores.


IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

IBM Bluemix, IBM Speech to Text Service, IBM Text to Speech Service, IBM Watson Retrieve and Rank Service, IBM Watson Conversation, IBM Watson Developer Cloud

Watson Implementation Services

IBM Cloud Managed Services, Retail: Smarter Shopping Experience, Watson Analytics, Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management

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