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Home Depot encourages product sales via mobile ads

In addition to encouraging consumers to buy the products via Home Depot’s mobile site, the campaign also includes location and click-to-call features that help drive in-store traffic. The ads are running within Flixster’s iPhone application.

“The strategy is to reach consumers where they are as opposed to where they used to be. Traditionally, home improvement retailers would run their major promotions using printed circulars, but consumer media habits have changed dramatically in a very short period of time,” said Greg Hallinan, chief marketing officer at Verve Wireless, Encinitas, CA.

“In other words, consumers are on their devices while simultaneously engaged with other media, usually television – this presents a great opportunity for retailers to move consumers further down the sales funnel, by either augmenting their other media spends or countering a competitor’s media spend,” he said.

“For example, it is not hard to imagine the scenario where a consumer views a Lowe’s advertisement on TV, say during a sporting event, while a Home Depot ad is presented on their mobile device that the consumer is using while watching the sporting event to pull stats, catch-up on the day’s news or play a game. Which one do you think the consumer takes action on?”

Mr. Hallinan is not associated with Home Depot. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Home Depot did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile improvement
The Home Depot ads include two separate pieces of creative – one for power tools and one for kitchen appliances.

For example, the ad that promotes kitchen appliances reads, “Power up with the appliance you’ve been eyeing.”

The creative for the ads are smart because although consumers might not be willing to make a spontaneous decision to buy a new appliance on the spot, the campaign is aimed at consumers who already know what they are looking for.

Unlike many mobile advertising campaigns, there is a clear demographic that Home Depot is honing in on with the initiative.

Once users tap on the ad, they are taken to Home Depot’s mobile site that is filtered to only include the type of product advertised.

Consumers can then browse through categories or type in keywords if they are looking for something specific.

Users can then add products to their shopping carts and check-out while still in the ad.

Additionally, users can find the nearest Home Depot store by using their device’s location or contact the company directly with a click-to-call feature.

Giving consumers the option to find the nearest location is especially important for a retailer such as Home Depot that has higher-ticket items.

Multichannel retailer
Home Depot has had a strong year in mobile so far.

In January, the company became the first national retailer to pilot PayPal’s mobile wallet service.

Using Paypal’s point-of-sale service, consumers can can either type in their phone number that is tied with a carrier’s account or pay with a PayPal-issued credit card. (see story).

Additionally, Home Depot also recently used a tablet-first strategy with a design lookbook iPad app that lets users find inspiration and shop for items in their homes (see story).

Each of Home Depot’s advertising campaigns are tailored for a specific promotion or demographic, which makes users more inclined to tap on the ad.

For example, around the holidays the company used a time-sensitive campaign to promote special prices on tools.

“Providing options to complete the transaction on the terms defined by the consumer is both considerate of the time-constrained consumer and helps mitigate some of the showrooming effect that retailers are experiencing in-store – it is just good business,” Mr. Hallinan said.

“Consumers are mobile and demanding that retailers either meet them in their mobile world or risk losing their business to someone who does,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York