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In store. Online. The Home Depot inspires the entire experience.

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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 tap 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 realised that it needed to create a unified customer experience online and in shops. 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.

“We wouldn’t be The Home Depot if we didn’t embrace change. It’s in our DNA.”

José D.
Director of Online Creative & CRM, Home Depot

The blueprint.

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 shops.”

“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.”

Matthew J.
Senior Manager - Online Creative, The Home Depot

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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 off-line channels, we focus our attention on capturing everything including website activity, in-store sales, call centre 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 shop, the app directs them to the right aisle and bin number to find the right kitchen tap, 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 to generate sales while engaging with our customers,” says Susan.

In the store - Use wayfinding in-app to locate items in-store. Access online orders from pick-up lockers at the store.
In the App - Visual, voice and predictive search make finding the right product easier. Clic in-store availability and purchase online if needed. Choose to pick up in-store if possible, or ship to home.

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 shop 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 sitting room.

And the virtual reality experience doesn’t stop there.

The Home Depot launched its Project Colour app to allow customers to find the perfect paint colour 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 to imagine how it’ll look on the walls of their sitting rooms, bedrooms or exterior spaces. And, if a customer loves a colour they noticed on a funky piece of street art, they can simply take a picture and find the closest paint colour available at The Home Depot.

Dave’s kitchen tap 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 tap lives. Sold.

Data rules.

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 tap or a paint contractor who purchases in bulk. Having all this data all in one place, including behavioural 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 fulfill in store.

“Being nimble and reacting quickly is important to our team. Adobe tools help us to deliver one vision both in-store and online.”

Susan B.
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 tap they fell in love with online.

Today, nearly 48 per cent of online orders are made using buy-online-pick-up-in-store. The Home Depot has install “order pick up” lockers at the front of the shop, so customers can quickly pick up their purchase, while around 20 per cent 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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