What marketer wouldn’t want the ability to read customers’ minds while shopping in-store? Lowe’s Companies Inc. is getting close to harnessing this power. The home improvement retailer recently announced the launch of its Product Locator—a digital mapping capability that enables Lowe’s to determine what customers are shopping for in-store.
Lowe’s Product Locator uses Point Inside’s mobile shopper engagement platform StoreMode, which is integrated into the Lowe’s mobile app and mobile optimized website. The platform digitally indexes Lowe’s in-store products in a “spatially accurate” way that helps customers search for items, navigate through a store, and find products, explains Pete Coleman, EVP and general manager of StoreMode.
“All retailers have this phenomenon where people know what they want, they go to a store, and leave without buying it because they couldn’t find it,” he says.
Using StoreMode’s search engine, customers can search for generic terms, like “hammer,” or search for specific products. They can also view the pricing and rating of a product. Once customers have searched for the products they need, they can find the exact aisle and bay location of the product via the app’s in-store map. The app also features a “Quicklist,” which allows customers to create shopping lists for specific projects and map out all of the items they need. In addition, customers can access their MyLowe’s loyalty program account via the app to review shopping lists, previous purchases, and returned items.
“The latest update is a natural evolution in our efforts to deliver a compelling experience for our customers, regardless of channel,” says Colleen Maiura, a spokesperson for Lowe’s. “Since our introduction of the Lowe’s mobile portfolio, we’ve enabled customers to easily access store information, real-time inventory, their MyLowe’s account, ratings and reviews, and purchase history.”
But customers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of this technology. Lowe’s has distributed more than 42,000 iPhones containing the app to its sales associates to drive awareness of it and help customers find the products that they need.
“Our associates…can easily access a customer’s purchase history to assist with projects while in the store,” Maiura says.
Although Lowe’s officially introduced the Product Locator technology the day before Thanksgiving, the capability was added to Lowe’s iOS app and mobile site in August. Coleman adds that indexing all of the products and getting them live on the app took about six months in total. But the hard work payed off. The app with the StoreMode capability sees five-times higher engagement than without it, Coleman says. He also says that customers have been rounding out their baskets more effectively because they’ve been able to find everything they need to complete a project.
But perhaps the greatest value that Lowe’s has received is the insight about customers’ in-store mind-sets.
“Through this digital platform, Lowe’s is able to capture that data of what someone is looking for in the offline world,” Coleman says. “It never before had access to in-store searches.”