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Lowe’s Manhattan Outlets Digitize In-Store Browsing

Customers will even be able to see a life-size 3D image of larger products on a full size screen in-store.

Big box home improvement chain Lowe’s is decking its new Manhattan locations out with digital services in an attempt to appeal to an urban audience.

Lowe’s has never been a large presence in the city, but the company began planning last years on opening two locations, as it sought to counter rival Home Depot’s Flatiron outlet. To help make its presence known, is using its popular posts on Twitter’s short user-generated video app, Vine, along with the use of mobile and digital displays in-store, to herald Lowe’s arrival.

Do-It-Yourself

One of Lowe's urban DIY Vines.
One of Lowe’s urban DIY Vines.

Lowe’s popular “Fix in Six” series of Vines showcase short do-it-yourself home improvement tricks and ideas in a quick Vine format. The quirky shorts are made with a variety of stop-motion techniques, featuring anthropomorphic vacuums, drills, and shovels illustrating easy projects.

To help customize these tips for city living, Lowe’s created two new Vine tutorials catering to urban home improvement: painting a room a light color to make it appear larger and hanging a bike from the ceiling to conserve space, both tips essential to living in tight quarters in Manhattan.

“A lot of work went into figuring out what home improvement means for the Manhattan customer, for the Upper West Side customer, for the Chelsea customer,” said Jonathan Luster, Lowes’ VP-concept and market development, to Ad Age “It was really important for us to be part of the community. We’re not a flagship store here. We’re absolutely a neighborhood home-improvement store.”

On top of these city-centric ideas, Lowe’s is going further to bridge the gap between their digital campaign and their Manhattan stores. For the entire month of August there will be physical animated window displays of the urban Vine shorts at the Manhattan stores.

“We created the Vine displays to reinforce just how much the store is part of the neighborhood community, and we wanted to do it in an innovative and really fun way,” a Lowe’s rep told Geomarketing. “Just like our “Fix in Six” Vines online, the tips in the animatronic window displays needed to be unique and relevant. That’s why they focus on how to make the most of your small space.”

Infinite Browsing

But those Vines aren’t the most radical innovation being taken on by Lowe’s in its new city locations. The store will feature digital displays throughout the floor synced with Lowe’s full inventory on its website. Customers will be able to browse the entirety of Lowe’s catalogue, including things not carried in the store. They may purchase the items right there, email the information to themselves for later, or be directed to its physical location in-store to examine it further. Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 4.05.58 PM

A larger screen will be available for looking at 3D projections of large purchases like beds and cabinets. The screen is life size so customers will be able to more accurately gauge the actual size of larger products without having to haul them out from the stockroom every time.

Additionally, Lowe’s employees will be equipped with iPhones allowing customers to check out from anywhere on the floor, avoiding long lines and giving the employees more flexibility in how they handle a sale.

“This is [our] first store designed with omnichannel,” said Luster. “You don’t need the space when you’ve got these other capabilities. It makes the shopping experience so much simpler, so much easier.”

The digitization of tried and true sales techniques has already earned praise from Jeff Hirsch, CMO of personalized video ad company SundaySky.

“In the past, marketers competed by yielding their ad dollars and soliciting exclusive relationships with media,” said Hirsch. “Today, marketers compete by embracing technology to enhance their ability to reach consumers. To be clear, it is not only about using the technology – it’s about putting in the time to build the right strategy and having the patience to execute thoroughly.”

About The Author
Daniel Parisi Daniel Parisi @daniel_parisi_

Daniel Parisi is a New York City-based writer and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Daniel specializes in coverage of mobile payments, loyalty programs, and the Internet of Things.