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Home Depot takes tablet-first strategy with design lookbook

When Home Depot wanted to create a digital style guide for do-it-yourself home remodelers, the retailer decided on an iPad-first strategy because of the device’s ability to provide engaging content and product experiences that can help drive sales.

The big-box home improvement retailer launched The Home Depot Style Guide Spring 2012 app for the iPad in mid-March. The digital publication includes interactive content showcasing various rooms within a house and top design trends.

“The goal and objective was to create a new innovative digital-focused experience that would drive project inspiration for enthusiasts that want to get more heavily involved in décor,” said Matt Jones, general manager of mobile for, Atlanta, GA.

“We wanted to provide something visual, impactful, really useful and engaging,” he said. “This obviously led us to the iPad, which is a great platform.”

Interactive features
Mr. Jones said The Home Depot was attracted to the iPad because of its ability to offer a lean-back experience that enables marketers to show off products in a visually impactful way, thereby driving engagement.

The style guide features a series of articles that were created from scratch for the app. An article about wood finishes includes numerous images that can be clicked on for additional information.

Another article on entryways starts with an almost bare image of a hallway and staircase. The space is slowly filled in with a variety of products and design changes to show how a more impactful entranceway can be created.

Other interactive features in the app include the ability to toggle between daylight and nighttime to see how different lighting will affect a room, buttons that turn lights on and off and swipe functionality.

The app is currently No. 1 in the catalog category and in the top 100 for all free iPad apps.

“For the Style Guide, we tried to focus on trends, décor, some categories and areas where we have a lot to say,” Mr. Jones. “The app can service as direction points for someone when taking on a project.”

The app is commerce-enabled, with everything appearing in the articles linking to a custom Home Depot Web site where all of the products are available for purchase.

The Style Guide app was promoted with a splash page on its Web site driving users the Apple App Store as well as a series of interactive Internet campaigns.

A Web-based version of the style guide is also available.

The right platform
The Home Depot has a well-rounded mobile app strategy that includes apps for iPhones, Android devices and Windows Phone 7.

Based on the success of its first iPad app, the retailer is looking at a variety of different ways to leverage what the iPad has to offer, including optimizing to provide iPad users with the best experience. The retailer is also currently working on a summer edition of the style guide.

“The iPad and the Style Guide is the right platform for us to deliver highly visual, engaging types of experiences,” Mr. Jones said.

“It has outperformed our expectations in terms of downloads, page views per visit and time spent in the app,” he said.