Google Me This: OfficeMax Exec on Working with the Digital Wallet

Name: Chris Duncan

Title: Vice President of Direct and Loyalty Marketing

Company: OfficeMax

Related NEXTcast Interview: OfficeMax Teams Up with Google Wallet to Provide Customers with Faster, Easier Shopping Experience Using Their Smart Phones



What I’m working on now… I think overall in the mobile space, OfficeMax has taken a very aggressive position. I don’t know that we fully understand – and I’m not sure anybody does – what is going to win at the end of the day. What we’ve tried to do with mobile is try a lot of different things to see what resonates with our customers and ultimately what is successful in engaging them and growing business. We’ve tried everything from SMS campaigns, mobile apps, mobile websites, and most recently, the Google Wallet to help with payment and loyalty.

What problem I am solving by doing it… I think that what intrigued us the most is we want to get into mobile payments and we want to start trying that and see if our customers will adopt it, but I don’t think a tool or device that only does payments is ultimately going to win. I think what Google has created with their Offers and loyalty programs will help ultimately create more stickiness than some of the other things that are out there.

Some of the ideas we’re tossing around – what type of offers can we do and what types of things can we do non-payment through the Google Wallet. I think that’s what is exciting for us – we can try a lot of different stuff and see what happens and see what works. But I don’t think we have an answer on the exact benefits but certainly offers, loyalty, promotions and payments all wrapped in one is a big benefit to our customer.

The key to building a mobile presence is… Our mobile strategy is really focused on our MaxPerks® Rewards customers, who are typically our best customers. A lot of things we’ve done – our apps, our SMS alerts – have really focused on our MaxPerks customers. As we went into this Google relation, we wanted to make sure our MaxPerks customers were at the forefront of what we did.

NFC is/will Change our business.

Cash is… King. Anything with cash is still important, and cash will still play a role.

The most important thing to consumers is Speed. In today’s day in age, everyone is looking for how to do things faster and better. I think things like mobile wallets from Google and NFC technology will help do that.

Bio: Chris Duncan is the Vice President of Direct and Loyalty Marketing leading OfficeMax’s company-wide efforts in marketing to their customers.  His teams are responsible for managing company loyalty programs, customer retention, database marketing, and all other direct-to-customer communications, including mobile marketing.   Chris has spent more than 12 years with OfficeMax and filled many different management roles in the company including Marketing & Advertising, E-Commerce, Business Development, and Strategic Planning.  Chris is a native of Cleveland, OH and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Case Western Reserve University.


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