Home Depot rolls out mobile tools for spring

Spring has long been considered the home improvement retail sector's holiday season equivalent, and Home Depot is taking the opportunity to add some new features to its mobile strategy.

The home improvement retailer has been successfully building out its omnichannel capabilities, with 40 percent of all orders from its website utilizing pickup in-store options. Now, Home Depot has added several new tools to the app to ensure mobile makes the in-store shopping experience as smooth as possible.

The Mulch and Top Soil Calculator, Grass Seed Calculator, and Weed, Plant and Pest Problem Solver have all rolled out across both the app and mobile Web, and are aimed at making sure in-store shoppers with smartphones are able to streamline their experience. For the calculators, shoppers simply enter a few pieces of information regarding the size and type of area they want to cover, and the app will let them know how much mulch, top soil or seed they'll need to get the job done. Additonally, after users answer a few questions about their location and what insect or weed problems they're having, the Weed, Plant and Pest Problem Solver can direct them to a product designed to help.

"Our new spring calculators, project planners and mobile functionality are exciting new tools and key features within an integrated in-store and online shopping experience," said Hal Lawton, senior VP of hardlines for the retailer. "Customers can feel empowered to combine the merchandise expertise of our associates with interactive, easy-to-use online and mobile tools to save time and money when taking on their spring projects."

Spring is a huge season for retailers like Home Depot that thrive on work outdoors and in the home, so much so that the retailer has started to promote "Spring Black Friday" offers. The chain certainly has ground to recover after its huge data breach in September, and the new mobile tools should prove helpful in ensuring the retailer stands out against competitors while offering one more way to entice consumers through means other than discounts.

The new features certainly aren't Home Depot's first foray into in-store mobile. The retailer's mobile app already lets shoppers make lists, peruse inventory at local stores and find products in-store, and store associates have been equipped with handhelds to better assist customers. The retailer has also leveraged augmented reality to let users get a glimpse of what products might look like in their own home.

Other retailers are beginning to take advantage of mobile to enhance the in-store experience as well. Dick's Sporting Goods has built its endless aisle strategy around mobile for store employees, to much success, while research early this year showed that most shoppers gravitate toward app use in-store.

For more:
-See this Home Depot press release

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App development costs deterring some retailers
37% of shoppers compare prices via mobile while in store
Target updates app with brick-and-mobile in mind
Macy's to focus on mobile

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