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Home Depot is installing online order pickup lockers, in-store navigation tools and digital product information screens to drive customers to physical stores.
Ted Decker, the company’s evp of merchandising, told investors Tuesday that 47 percent of online orders are picked up in stores, illustrative of the fusion of digital and physical customer experiences that he called balancing the “art and science” of retail. The retailer reported that for the second quarter of 2018, online-purchase volume grew 26 percent year over year.
The company said customer experience needs to go beyond having physical stores and e-commerce sites; it needs to cater to customers who want to communicate with the retailer in multiple ways as part of one transaction. For example, customers who buy items online may want to pick them up in stores and talk to associates, building relationships that drive repeat visits. It’s part of a three-year customer experience strategy across Home Depot’s e-commerce sites and physical stores, in which it has reportedly invested $5.4 billion.
Other large retailers pursuing similar approaches include Lowe’s and Walmart. By driving customers to stores, Home Depot can ensure that customers are more comfortable buying expensive products, since they can talk to store employees to get additional advice.
Over the past year, Home Depot has rolled out augmented reality and store-wayfinding capabilities within its mobile app. The retailer is adding in-store pickup for items purchased online, and later this year, it plans to roll out electronic shelf labels for its in-store…