What is it?
This is a solution found in The Home Depot website. When users are looking up a product, Home Depot would suggest them a near location that has the product in stock. Their website will go as far as telling the users the number of items in stock and the exact location of that product within the physical store.
How does this interaction or solution work?
Home Depot is one of the largest retailers in the US and the largest one that sells home improvement and construction tools and products. Because of the nature of their products, Home Depot is one of the few retailers that still have a significant value proposition when it comes to selling products in physical locations.
An everyday use case for Home Depot customers is buying specific supplies or equipment required for an ongoing project. Usually, Home Depot customers know precisely what they need, so their experience in finding those particular items is essential for the success of Home Depot as a business.
Home Depot optimizes this use case through their website by showing in every product detail what's the nearest location that carries the product. They also show the number of items in stock and the exact aisle and bay location within the store.
For this use case, the Home Depot also acknowledges that people looking for a product on their website might want to know that product location information for later. To help with this, they provide a feature that allows customers to send themselves an SMS (text message) with the product location information.
How does it help the user or improve the experience?
Inferring Context, Reducing Friction, Just In Time
Customers visiting specialized e-commerce websites usually have a clear job to be done or a defined idea of what they are looking for. Although it is not uncommon for customers to browse around in these type of websites, the primary use case is to find a specific product quickly.
Home Depot acknowledges this and provides an experience that bridges the gap between their website as a digital catalog and their physical retail floors as shopping locations.
By giving their customers a quick way to learn the location of a product within a store, Home Depot is increasing the context of this use case. They also are reducing the friction that results from browsing a product online, but that is intended to be bought at a physical retail location.
Finally, by providing this type of experience, Home Depot is delivering a high-value functionality at a critical moment of the customers' journey. This experience benefits the customer because they find what they need at the right time and benefits Home Depot because it allows them to drive customers with a firm buying intention into their retail floors.
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