Build.com’s product finder app matches home improvement items from a photo
Online home improvement retailer Build.com is making it easier for shoppers to identify their favorite home décor items on the go by submitting a photo using the new Smarter Product Finder mobile application.
The free iPhone app can help users find items they see at friend’s home or in a store from within Build.com’s inventory. Once users submit a photo, a Build.com product expert will identify and respond within 24-hours with details about the product’s specifications, features and availability.
“What’s unique/different about this app is that, when you use it, your products are being found by our in-house product experts based in Chico, CA, and not by AI,” said Megan Hoffman, public relations specialist at Build.com, Chico, CA.
“We always encourage our customers to call in and speak directly with a product expert anytime they have a question, need to make a purchase or set up a return because we train these experts in every category within our company, from plumbing, lighting and flooring to door/cabinet hardware and ventilation,” she said.
“These same experts direct customers to the product or a similar product that they’re looking for on our site via the app.”
Build.com says it is the second-largest online home improvement retailer. The retailer has a large network of online specialty stores addressing multiple areas of the home remodeling process, including plumbing, lighting, hardware and ventilation.
The goal of the app is to recreate the experience of a showroom and translate that online and across mobile devices to provide customer service from project start to finish.
After downloading the app, users can click on the list icon at the top left of the app’s home screen and enter their email address into Account Info.
Next, users can use their phone to take a photo of the home improvement product they are interested in and click “allow” when the app requests if it can access the phone’s camera.
Once the photo has been taken, users click “Use Photo” to submit it to Build.com for product matching.
Submitted photos will be matched within 24 hours or sooner with the same or a similar product on Build.com.
Build.com will notify users via their email address once the match has been made.
To view and purchase the product, users can click “view product online” via the app or follow the link from the email they receive.
The online retailer has created a micro site, http://www.build.com/spf, where consumers find out more about how the app works.
Inspiration on the go
Build.com’s new app is the latest in a growing list from retailers across product categories that enable users to find real-world items.
However, while several similar apps from retailers such as Target, Amazon and Macy’s use technology to automatically match real-world items with products in their inventory, Build.com is tapping its product specialists to do the job.
“Build.com believes in ‘smarter home improvement,’” Ms. Hoffman said. “We want to make home improvement easier for consumers who are replacing anything from a leaky faucet to working on an entire home remodel.
“People find inspiration from their remodels everywhere and we want to make it easier to help them identify what that product is,” she said.