Forrester: Home Depot, Sephora top retail mobile app experiences
- Home Depot was ranked No. 1 in a study of retailer mobile apps because of its functionality and strong user experience, according to a Forrester Research report shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer. The home improvement chain's mobile app combined the best functionality score (93 out of 100) with a strong user experience (71 out of 100), per the report.
- Home Depot's app works like a virtual customer service agent to help shoppers navigate the store with visual item mapping data and inventory availability. The app also helps customers sort through complicated search results with advanced filtering. Its product pages host questions and answers from shoppers, along with features like augmented reality (AR), 360-degree views and video buying guides, according to Forrester.
- Sephora's mobile app was ranked No. 2 with the second-highest score for functionality (79) and the best score for user experience (74). Forrester also evaluated mobile apps from Crate and Barrel, Kohl's, Macy's, Nordstrom, REI, Target and Walmart because they offer at home, on-the-go and in-store experiences, and are among the top 100 retailers measured by the National Retail Federation.
Home Depot's high scores for app features and usability follow its top ranking in Forrester's survey of mobile websites in 2017. At that time, Forrester praised the home improvement chain's website for clear, mobile-friendly content, including videos where appropriate, a single-page checkout and easy-to-find live chat for customer support. Home Depot's digital offering is vital in competing with Amazon, which often lists lower prices in several product categories such as power tools. However, Home Depot also has a price-match policy for online products that can be shipped to a customer's location, per Business Insider. Almost three-fourths (71%) of U.S. online adults start their shopping on Amazon, making the company a formidable competitor to Home Depot and other retail categories, according to Forrester.
The researcher's report suggests that a mobile app should be considered "much more than a glorified mobile site" by offering additional features that add value for omnichannel experiences, not just mobile commerce. Forrester said Home Depot's in-app messaging center that sends offers, promotions and design ideas without relying on the more intrusive SMS notification system is a better way to provide more personalized or contextually relevant information to mobile customers based on their interests, purchases and search history.
As Forrester notes, Home Depot reported 28% growth in its online sales during Q3 2018 from a year earlier. The retailer attributed that increase to its efforts to create a "frictionless interconnected customer experience" as customers pick up 47% of online orders in stores. Home Depot on Feb. 26 reported sales that missed estimates for Q4 2018, partly because of adverse weather during the period. Revenue for the quarter rose about 11% from a year earlier to $26.49 billion, missing estimates of $26.57 billion, per CNBC.