Lowe’s Launches Home-Management Tool

Discussion
Oct 31, 2011
Tom Ryan

Recently, Lowe’s officially launched MyLowe’s, an online tool to help customers manage their homes. The service assists consumers with project management, enabling them to create room-by-room profiles of their homes. It also helps them catalog past purchases, warranties, rebates and other product details. With a MyLowe’s card or key fob, all purchases — in-store and online — are tracked automatically and stored on customer’s online profile. Customers are able to customize their personal version of Lowe’s.com, MyLowe’s.

"MyLowe’s will enable our customers to track and manage their homes all in one place, and it will allow Lowe’s employees to be better equipped to help meet the needs of our customers," said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing and advertising, in a statement.

The first rendition of MyLowe’s will include:

  • A tool to enable consumers to create a virtual version of their home, including multiple rooms, floor dimensions, product details and notes.
  • Purchase history from all purchase points (in-store, contact center, online and mobile).
  • Paint formula tracking after check out. Consumers can quickly recall which color they used to paint a room.
  • Access to warranties, rebates and product manuals from product detail pages.
  • Ability to set reminders for air filters and other common maintenance items.
  • Folders and lists to organize products, projects and ideas.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mike Brown, chief information officer for the retailer, said the idea for MyLowe’s began nearly three years ago. At the time, he brought two boxes of his personal receipts, appliance manuals and service warranties and told his staff, "Help me manage."

The tool is touted as a huge advancement over Home Depot’s personalized offerings. My Home Depot enables shoppers to sign up for newsletters, make shopping lists and project lists, and check out faster in-store with stored payment information.

"There’s one part (Home) Depot loyalists, one part Lowe’s loyalists," Mr. Lamb told the McClatchy-Tribune. "Everything in between — and it’s a big in-between — is a jump ball. … This is a tie-breaker."

Discussion Questions: What do you think of MyLowe’s? Will it help it gain a competitive advantage over others in the home improvent channel? Can such services work at retailers outside the home-improvement channel?

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9 Comments on "Lowe’s Launches Home-Management Tool"


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Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
9 years 6 months ago

Especially in the hardware/DIY category, a retailer’s website is the first point of contact. A tool like this ups the ante in web offerings. MyLowe’s seems to offer much more in terms of added value over Home Depot’s current site.

Max Goldberg
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

I’m not sure how many consumers will take the time to create virtual versions of their homes, but the ability to have instant access to paint mixes, warranties and reminders to home tasks is a good idea. Lowe’s wants to build a wall around their consumers to entice them to shop Lowe’s, rather than Home Depot. This is a good step in that direction.

Ben Ball
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

The room design feature sounds like nirvana for the perpetual designer/remodeler (aka my wife) and a nightmare for the husband (aka me). Sounds like it will create lots of excuses to buy new tools though!

Actually, the tracking features should be a welcome solution to the “now where did I put that warranty card?” question. And encouraging multiple visits to the site can also mean multiple visits to the store.

But the most valuable feature of the tool for Lowe’s has got to be enhanced loyalty. Once a homeowner gets started down the path of referring to the site for details and history, the idea of shopping the other guy and losing that information won’t be very attractive.

Great idea.

Mark Price
Guest
Mark Price
9 years 6 months ago

One of the greatest needs that consumers have is consolidation and aggregation, because everything is so complex — consumers have mountains of warranties that they do not understand, hardware and software that is not compatible and appliances that are of different ages, technologies and manufacturers. In this world, the company that can become the “trusted supplier” will increase their share of wallet and customer retention.

MyLowe’s needs to include information that comes from products that are not purchased at their stores as well, in order to be a repository and alert tool for clients. The goal of trust is achieved by helping customers manage their homes, not their Lowe’s products.

This initiative is a light year beyond Home Depot and clearly raises the bar in the battle for customers not yet closely affiliated with either brand.

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

It seems as though Lowe’s has skipped right over localization and zoomed in on personalization — and that’s not a bad thing.

Lowe’s creation of a comprehensive project and home care hub for shoppers will drive repeat sales through reminders and make Lowe’s the logical go-to destination for less frequent purchases. I think that many of the features will also solidify its female-friendly advantage over Home Depot (and in the nick of time — HD has done a great job of getting its service act together).

Of course, Lowe’s will get its share of the pie — data in droves!

Doug Fleener
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

I signed up after getting an email from Lowe’s. I think this is extremely smart. I really like the personalization and tracking of maintenance, projects, etc. Like a lot of people, I can easily shop at either one, but having this online resource could easily tip me towards Lowe’s. Great job!

Hayes Minor
Guest
Hayes Minor
9 years 6 months ago

From a competitive standpoint, it’s very smart. Home Depot — the orange albatross in home improvement stores — will likely launch their own version of this experience; however, Lowe’s is first and fairly robust. Now Lowe’s has something tangible to truly differentiate themselves from Home Depot.

What’s great about this tool for shoppers is that it definitely creates an opportunity to engage with them during the planning stages of a project. Having worked on several home improvement brands in this space, I know 90% of projects is generally planning, researching, gaining confidence, experimenting with materials and costing out the end result. Lowe’s is now angled to be the virtual home improvement partner for people during this stage and likely will drive purchases into Lowe’s stores.

This will definitely be a category to watch as the economy continues to ebb and flow. I’ll be looking to see which brands engage in a smart way with Lowe’s new venture and how Home Depot responds.

Dan Frechtling
Guest
9 years 6 months ago
Not a bad start. MyLowe’s will satisfy the most loyal and project-oriented buyers. Purchase history helps shoppers track items and make returns without a receipt. Home Management will be useful to the hard core DIYers. But 3 components were missing to attract the middle of the road shoppers: 1. Site visit call to action. Much of the membership will come from in-store solicitations. Like many loyalty programs, MyLowe’s provides a card and key fob. But unlike many loyalty programs, the extended experience is online. The problem is there isn’t a pressing reason to go online without an incentive, such as savings. MyLowe’s misses an opportunity to drive participants online to complete the experience. 2. Connection to local activities. Lowe’s has a strong complement of in-store events to draw traffic. These include small construction projects for parents and kids and other activities. MyLowe’s operates well at a national level but misses the opportunity to feature local store happenings. 3. Facebook integration. Lowe’s is smart to feature MyLowe’s prominently on Facebook. It even features an explosive video.… Read more »
James Tenser
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

While myLowe’s is innovative and appears to be on-trend in many ways, I think it falls short in the shopper-centricity dimension. That is, it appears highly Lowe’s-centric, which may repel homeowners who prefer to shop around.

My personal portfolio of home improvement resources includes a Lowe’s store, but it also includes Home Depot, Ace Hardware, a local lumberyard, an appliance parts store and a Leslie’s pool supply store.

With all these resources to consider, I can’t see committing exclusively to myLowe’s unless it provides a mechanism to let me keep track of my elsewhere purchases and my use of maintenance contractors (HVAC, plumber, tile maintenance, etc.).

I believe Lowe’s might well justify including these features on the premise that it is engaged in a share-of-wallet battle. Additional data collected could well justify the investment and every out-of-Lowe’s purchase could provide a moment of entry for personalized marketing.

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