In store. Online. The Home Depot makes it one experience.
“We wouldn’t be The Home Depot if we didn’t embrace change. It’s in our DNA.”
Director of Online Creative & CRM, Home Depot
Never sitting still.
When Jose joined The Home Depot as a graphic designer in 1998, e-commerce was in its infancy. Most internet users connected via dial-up, and the concept of ordering a kitchen faucet online was pretty much nonexistent. But in the past twenty years, Jose, who is now a creative director, has enjoyed a front row seat as The Home Depot grew to become the sixth largest e-commerce site in the world, offering more than one million products, while helping the company achieve $108.2 billion dollars in annual revenue.
As e-commerce expanded, The Home Depot realized that it needed to create a unified customer experience online and in stores. It needed to help customers quickly find the right information and the right product, whether they’re browsing on an iPhone or cruising down the aisles of their local store.
To achieve this vision, The Home Depot needed a new box of tools. “This is a company that constantly tries to change and innovate,” says Jose. “This is a company that doesn’t stay still.”
Today, the Home Depot creative team uses a powerful suite of Adobe products, including Photoshop, InDesign, XD, and Spark. “We use XD for our home page, for our category pages, and for our email team,” explains Jose. For Susan, senior manager of print creative, Adobe’s editable PDFs have streamlined feedback and approval for her print assets–like the pages of their popular HD Home catalogue.
“Our customers are smart, savvy shoppers,” says Matthew, senior manager of online creative. “With an interconnected experience, we’re able to cascade messages, design standards, ideas, and promotions big and small, to all our customers—whether they shop online or in our stores.”
“Testing previously took weeks, but with the help of platforms such as Adobe, we can quickly mock things up, get quantitative data, and prove that it works.”
Senior Manager – Online Creative, The Home Depot
The Home Depot uses these Adobe products:
Wireframe, design, prototype, share amazing experiences for web, mobile, voice, and more.
Analyze online and offline behavior to get a full picture of the customer journey.
Combine digital asset management with the power of an enterprise-ready CMS.
From click to collect.
The Home Depot believes in a data-driven model to find customer insights, so they unified all their customer data into a single customer profile. Ranjeet Bhosale, director of online analytics and business intelligence, explained the process.
“Instead of separating metrics from online and offline channels, we focus our attention on capturing everything including website activity, in-store sales, call center volume, return volume, order cancelations, and much more, thus enabling us to make the best decisions to improve the shopper experience across all touchpoints.” Now The Home Depot can see a 360-degree profile of their customers.
With all this data working together, The Home Depot needed a way to get it in front of the customer. So they prototyped and created a revolutionary new solution that takes advantage of something every customer already has—a mobile phone.
Now, customers can input their lists into The Home Depot app. Once they reach the store, the app directs them to the right aisle and bin number to find the right kitchen faucet, sledgehammer, or a tube of liquid nails. From the same screen, customers can read reviews, follow how-to videos, and get product details. “The app helps us generate sales while engaging with our customers,” says Susan.
And because the team prototyped the app based on customer feedback, they added a few other impressive details. Customers can search by voice using natural language, just as they would ask a store associate. They can take a picture of their old broken part, and artificial intelligence will search for the right product to match (thanks to help from Adobe’s machine learning solution for customer experiences—Adobe Sensei). With some products, customers can use virtual reality to see how the product will look in a real environment, like a fan light in their living room.
And the virtual reality experience doesn’t stop there.
The Home Depot launched its Project Color app to allow customers to find the perfect paint color for their interior or exterior paint projects, right from their phones. Once they’ve found the perfect shade of navy blue or racing green, augmented reality helps them imagine how it’ll look on the walls of their living rooms, bedrooms, or exterior spaces. And, if a customer loves a color they noticed on a funky piece of street art, they can simply take a picture and find the closest paint color available at The Home Depot.
Dave’s kitchen faucet is broken. He needs to find a replacement, fast.
He quickly finds the right one on The Home Depot app. Yes! There’s one in stock nearby.
When Dave swings by his local store, the app directs him to the exact aisle where his faucet lives. Sold.
The Home Depot’s business intelligence team uses Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager to unify the various groups of data into a singular customer profile, so they can target homeowners looking for the perfect kitchen faucet, or a paint contractor who purchases in bulk. Having all this data all in one place, including behavioral and real-time information, means they can crunch the numbers to find instant insights and improve the customer experience. “People are shocked how many decisions we make with data,” says Matthew. “Testing previously took weeks, but now, we can quickly mock things up, get quantitative data, and prove that it works.”
The Home Depot can quickly test offers, promotions, and web designs to constantly improve online experiences. All these efforts combine to get information to customers faster, which means they’re finding stuff quicker, and not getting lost during the journey.
And it’s working. Today, $8.6 billion in sales are attributed to online orders. And about half of those orders are being fulfilled in store.
“Being nimble and reacting quickly is important to our team. Adobe tools help us deliver one vision both in-store and online.”
Senior Manager - Print Creative, The Home Depot
A job well done.
There’s no better feeling than a job well done. For Jose and the creative team, success means cross-collaboration across multiple business units. For customers, success means being able to easily find the kitchen faucet they fell in love with online.
Today, nearly 48 percent of online orders are made using buy-online-pick-up-in-store. The Home Depot has installed “order pick up” lockers at the front of the store, so customers can quickly pick up their purchase, while around 20 percent of shoppers make additional purchases during the same visit. The Home Depot has come a long way since those early days of the Internet, and is truly delivering on a seamless online and in-store experience.
“We don’t rest on our laurels,” says Jose. “We wouldn’t be The Home Depot if we didn’t embrace change. It’s in our DNA.”
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