In 2012, Lowe’s — the major home improvement retailer based in Mooresville, NC — asked Huge to help establish and design the company’s mobile ecosystem. As the second-largest hardware chain globally, Lowe’s operates more than 1,840 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Since customers were using mobile phones in its stores to search for products or reference their home improvement projects, Lowe’s saw an opportunity to improve the customer experience with a new touchpoint: a mobile app.
Less time shopping, more time improving.
Our objective was to design applications and experiences to make the shopping process as easy and valuable as possible for the approximately 15 million customers who shop at Lowe’s every week, whether they’re looking for a specific item or in the throes of a major renovation project. As always, we aimed to keep it simple and functional, and provide real value. Less time shopping means more time improving. So we designed intuitive native apps for iOS and Android and optimized mobile web experiences for browsers on all major mobile platforms. In our research with Lowe’s shoppers, we discovered that digital plays a role in nearly every part of a home improvement project. However, it was the small, mobile screen that customers most frequently turned to for help while shopping in-store. After testing many iterations in our usability lab, we ultimately developed an app that optimized Lowe’s mobile web presence for an efficient e-commerce experience. Store hours are displayed front and center during the day, and after hours, users are offered the opportunity to buy online and pick up in-store the next day. The app features real-time inventory information, and the ability to check inventory at the five closest stores.
An app for store associates.
Customers aren’t the only mobile users at Lowe’s. The company employs more than 245,000 people, most of whom work as associates in the company’s 1,840 stores. To support these key users, we designed an iOS-based, associate-facing application that lives on more than 120,000 iPhones. The app helps them better assist customers, find products, review a customer’s purchase history (via MyLowe’s), and answer questions. It includes a mirror version of the customer app for interacting with customers, and a tap of the button switches it to the employee app. It is also rolling out a built-in point-of-sale so customers can check out with the employee directly and avoid a long line.
The Lowe’s consumer and employee apps launched in August of 2012 along with a mobile web version of Lowes.com. Today, we continue to work with Lowe’s on redefining the purpose of the apps and creating new features for them. We’ve added customer and associate-facing mobile experiences including the mobile product locator, which allows users to check availability for, and pinpoint, the specific location of any product in any U.S. store. We've also worked with Lowe’s to develop upsell experiences, extended protection plans, and weekly ad integration for Android, in addition to app store imagery and promotional materials.