Recognizing the need for a strong customer-first digital shopping experience, The Home Depot developed a digital strategy in 2015, and is still making this a primary focus for the DIY retailer. Nearly half of their online orders are picked up in store, whether the order came from do-it-yourself consumers or professional customers. “We’re very passionate about thinking customer-first and customer centricity,” said The Home Depot’s senior director of digital strategy and mobile applications, Matt Jones. The retailer wants to ensure that its customers have a blend of digital tools to engage with them while comparing and shopping for the goods that they need.
For the professional shopper, The Home Depot offers reserved parking, dedicated check out and loading of goods, volume discounts, and having the merchandise picked and ready for pick-up at the front of the store. The retailer is finding that the professional shopper has become more digitally savvy, many running their business entirely from an iPad of iPhone.
At the core of the digital strategy is The Home Depot app, which has features such as talk to text, images, account history, searching for product by scanning bar codes, shopping lists and augmented reality images. Added Jones, “We’re not trying to steer the customer in one direction or another. We’re trying to allow them to shop with us the way they choose to shop.”
Accelerated Analytics was pleased to be a repeat-sponsor of the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) event on September 18 and 19. The 2018 Insights Conference hosted many DIY, home and hardware vendors and retailers to discuss key economic indicators, trends and forecasts for this division of the retail industry. Topics included global economic impacts on the home improvement market, trends in remodeling and home building, and the evolving healthy home range of products coming to market. The conference was held at the historic McDonald’s Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL. Accelerated Analytics was the only POS analytics reporting solution provider at the event, and welcomed many current and newly-signed DIY vendor customers. Many attended a dinner hosted by Accelerated Analytics CEO, Chad Symens, and Director of Sales and Marketing, Jennifer Freyer, at Wildfire in Oak Brooke.
Students from Florida Polytechnic University will be undertaking two Capstone projects with Accelerated Analytics in 2018-19. The students involved are studying Data Science, Computer Science and Information Technology, and the projects are part of the Senior Design program. Both projects involve Data Aggregation and Machine Learning.
Accelerated Analytics is very proud to work with this talented group of students. FPU selected ten projects for Data Science/Business Analytics, and two of those are working with Accelerated Analytics. Forbes magazine predicted that demand for these job roles will spike by 28% by 2020. Data Science and Analyst jobs are among the most challenging to fill, taking five days longer to find qualified candidates than the market average. As thought leaders in retail analytics, Accelerated Analytics is committed to contributing to the education of future experts in their industry. Careers at Accelerated Analytics can be found on their web site.
Home Depot Q2 2018 Sales, Accelerated Analytics’ Customers Up 8.9 Percent
The Home Depot announced its Q2 2018 sales results, and once again it was a smashing success story for the DIY retailer. Accelerated Analytics checked the results of our customers who sell in and use our reporting for managing their business with The Home Depot. For the third straight quarter, our customers outperformed Home Depot’s total sales results!
Are you a Home Depot DIY retailer? Accelerated Analytics customers reported an 8.9% increase in US store comp sales over last year. Home Depot at large reported an increase of 8.1% over 2017 for the same period. Our customers are using our reporting and analysis tools to decrease out of stocks, improve store performance and reduce lost sales opportunities. Being the third quarter in a row of this superb trend is a testament to our customers and our tools!
If you’re a DIY retailer that wants to increase sales and performance, Accelerated Analytics can help. Our POS data analysis and reporting tools will allow you to see your data as a whole so you can start making real-time decisions that will impact the performance of your business. If you’re tired of trying to make sense out of all your data and missing out on the many opportunities you have to grow your company, we can help.
You can reach us by calling 1-915-746-2073 or by using our contact form.
New Lowe’s CEO, Marvin Ellison, having been on the job only since June, joined the team at their headquarters in Mooresville to load 15,000 disaster-relief buckets for California wildfire victims, and for future natural disaster preparedness. 1,400 employees are helping to stuff the buckets, which are at a cost of $700,000 and being paid for by Lowe’s and its vendors. 2,000 buckets are set to ship to California, while the rest will be stockpiled for any future need. The buckets contain work gloves, scrub brushes, insect repellant and dust masks. “This is a tremendous effort and being new to the company it warms my heart to see so many of us helping out so many people in need,” he says.
As part of his leadership plan, Ellison eliminated top level management roles and brought in new executive, Joseph McFarland III. McFarland comes from J.C. Penney and prior to two years there as executive vice president, had a two-decade career with The Home Depot. He served as president of the northern and western divisions. Ellison said in a news release that these changes will allow Lowe’s to “drive operational excellence.”
The US Commerce Department announced this week that new home sales decreased to an 8-month low in June, decreasing 5.3%, the lowest since October 2017. While economic GDP reports last week show the US economy as robust, housing has seen rising building material costs and shortages of supply, causing its contribution to the US economy to weaken.
Mortgage rates are higher and loan applications to purchase a home fell 1%. Median new home price fell to $302,100, a 4.2% decrease from last year. New home sales fell in the South, West and Midwest, but in the Northeast new home sales increased to a 10 ½ year high.
Although new construction materials are at a higher cost, nearly 2/3 of the homes sold in June were under construction or yet to be built. Economists predict the fallout effect in the next half of the year may be with home product and furniture sales.
For customers using Accelerated Analytics for daily Dillard’s reporting exclusively, we have report upgrades coming soon! These upgrades are based on customer feedback and requests. In order to remain the most robust Dillard’s reporting tool on the market, Accelerated Analytics will be implementing the following upgrades.
Upgrades include updating the source of descriptions of style, color and size to be from our daily data feed from Dillard’s, instead of from a third party catalogue, saving our customers money. New reports, like a KPI and Weekly Trend report, will be added. Top line numbers will head each report. Daily detail reports will now show this year – last year comparisons all on one report. In all, every vendor will now have a total of 11 best practice reports at their disposal: Door Sales Detail, Style Sales Detail, Door Sales To Date, Style Color Size To Date, Scorecard, Out of Stock Report, Lost Dollars Report, Trend Chart, Weekly Trend, KPI, and US Sales Map.
Following the February 2018 announcement that The Sherwin-Williams Company, Consumer Brands Group would become the sole nationwide supplier to Lowe’s US stores, today the DIY retailer announced a new line of Valspar exterior stain products. The Valspar stain will come in 50 colors and is offered exclusively at Lowe’s stores and on Lowes.com. The move is designed to streamline and simplify paint and stains to be easier for customers to buy and associates to sell. Other brands Lowe’s offers from Sherwin-Williams include HGTV Home, Purdy, Krylon, Minwax, Thompson’s Water Seal, and Cabot.
“We strive to provide endless color to our customers, and our new product line is no exception. Valspar stain is available in a wide range of colors – both expected and unexpected – because not only do consumers look to Valspar for quality products, but also as the authority on color,” says Andy Bottoni, Director of Marketing at The Sherwin-Williams Company, Consumer Brands Group. “With this new product line, we hope to inspire more creativity when it comes to outdoor color.”
A few months ago, The Home Depot announced purchasing The Company Store to expand its online assortment of home décor items. This was just the start of an organized expansion into this category for the DIY retailer. In an email to customers this week and on its web site, Home Depot announced, “Your favorite home improvement retailer is about to become your favorite décor destination.” The retailer strives to be a 1-stop home shopping experience by adding furniture, bedding, bath, wall décor, tabletop and home accents.
The Home Depot tried this concept in the 1990’s by opening trend “Expo” stores with a stylish approach to home remodeling and decorating versus its standard warehouse-style stores. They ended up closing these stores. For now the home décor strategy seems to be online only, without any announcement by the retailer to bring in-store merchandise in the category. However, the strategy is bound to help in its continuing competition with Lowe’s and it takes on Bed Bath & Beyond and WalMart, which is the only US retailer larger than Home Depot.
As retail looks to the remainder of the 2018 year, several trends are emerging as most popular among chains. Analysts predict 2018 to continue to be a good year for retail and these trends are contributing to the sector’s success.
The beauty industry continues to strive for innovative experiences in stores for its customers, whether it be yoga sessions on a wellness floor or magic mirror technology to virtually apply makeup on a customer. A second big trend is ethical shopping to appeal to Gen Z consumers, with buy-one, give-one to charity models such as Toms shoes, or improving environmental energy savings with sustainability plans as announced at The Home Depot.
Another trend is pop-up stores for brands to test promotions and gain celebrity sponsorship. Many retailers, such as Nordstrom, are investing in conversation commerce technology to empower salespeople to connect with online shoppers as if they were in the actual store. Other investments in data technology continue to be a strong trend, whether it be anti-merchandise return fraud or using RFID to track merchandise.
A final big trend is innovative partnerships between retailers and brands and technology to promote unique experiences for shoppers.
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