Home Depot builds customer connections

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(Author : Dan Berthiaume)
The Home Depot Inc. specializes in letting customers do it themselves, and is now extending that philosophy across all channels.

“We want to provide interconnected retail, and mobile is one area where we are leaning,” Matt Jones, general manager of mobile for Home Depot, said in an interview with Chain Store Age. “We want to help customers solve their problems in a couple of ways.” According to Jones, today’s consumers are leveraging mobile devices to aid multiple parts of their shopping experience.

Consumers want to do a lot of mobile research,” said Jones. “Whether they’re using our app or are on a mobile browser they want information and inspiration, as well as something more basic like the hours of their local stores. We want to make the pre-shopping experience as informative and interactive as it can be.” Once customers reach a store, Jones said they continue to use their mobile device as an “in-store companion” to aid in finding the right section of the store or correct materials or tools for the job they have planned. To this end, Home Depot’s app offers features such as access to real-time inventory and 3-D store maps. In addition, customers can search for items by image as well as by precise text and voice queries.  “You can take a picture of a product and upload it to find related products,” said Jones.

One of the most interesting mobile tools Home Depot now offers customers is an augmented reality (AR) feature that lets them visualize how items might look in their home.

“Using their phone’s camera in the app, customers can visualize a product in their own space, such as the patio or a kitchen,” said Jones. “The app allows them to overlay a product image on whatever is in the camera’s view.”
With 50% of the retailer’s digital traffic coming from mobile devices, Home Depot is constantly looking to improve and enhance its mobile offerings. For example, the retailer is also currently piloting the use of beacons to assist mobile wayfinding in stores. However, mobile is not the only emerging digital technology Home Depot using to better connect with customers throughout their shopping journey. The retailer also actively engages customers via social media.

“Customers turn to social media for do-it-yourself information and product inspiration,” said Jones. “Social media is a great way to drive intent, inspiration and project confidence.” Ultimately, Jones said Home Depot tailors all of its connected retailing offerings to the needs and wants of its shoppers.

“We are laser-focused on the customer,” concluded Jones. “Everything we do is backed by data and research. We talk live to our shoppers across channels.”

Source : chainstoreage.com