Shopper Marketing - July 2017 - 42
FEATURE | HOME IMPROVEMENT CHANNELS
ager at LG Electronics. "We tend to focus on
the home appliance department, but there's
that whole area next to that with cabinetry,"
says Stewart Henderson, senior manager of
shopper marketing, home appliances, at LG.
"Retailers are asking, 'Will you put your appliances in X vignette?' It allows shoppers to see
it in a real home environment.
"There's always going to be a place for retail, especially for appliances," Henderson says.
"People do want to test drive the stuff - the
tactile stuff you can't get online. No matter
how good your video is, no matter how much
you zoom in, it's not the same."
Aviles agrees that stores will continue to
play a significant role, if they make the right
moves. "In order for them to be Amazon-proof,
they have to move to a more service-oriented
and expertise-driven environment," she says.
"That means freeing up associates who work in
that store and ensuring that you have the right
people on the floor."
"It's helping the consumer get through that
project; it's not just sales," Jason West says.
"Some of them are investing in kiosks, and
some in display screens. It will be interesting to
see how they progress through that." He adds
that he sees Lowe's as more oriented toward
typical consumers, while The Home Depot is
more DIY and contractor led.
Rick West believes home centers will be Amazon proof for the professionals and DIYers but
will lose at least some average homeowners to
online shopping. "But that's a smaller portion
of shoppers," he says. "I don't think a professional or a DIYer is going to do that. They want
to walk into that store and say, 'I'm stuck, I need
this,' and the [store associate] says, 'You need
y SHOPPER MARKETING JULY 2017
this tool and that tool.'"
The Role of Technology
Technology dovetails with shopper marketers'
roles in two different but sometimes overlapping senses: reaching the shopper through
e-commerce and social media, and selling the
shopper on the benefits of connected home
devices (aka the Internet of Things).
Rubin believes the channel has stepped up
its game in e-commerce. "They wanted to get
people into the store," she says. "But people
are doing more and more research online before they get to the store. We are definitely
seeing retailers ask for these [e-commerce]
GE Appliances' West says home centers realize that in-store and online are not binary
but rather need to be a symbiotic and seamless omnichannel experience. "They're trying
to make it feel that way to consumers, rather
than, 'We must win online sales,' or, 'We must
win in-store sales.'"
Home centers have been slower to adopt
mobile as well, Rubin says, but that too is
changing. "Shoppers are using their phones
more and more" in-store, she says. "They're
realizing they have to join the party and help
facilitate what consumers are already doing."
Field Agent's West expects Home Depot
and Lowe's to invest in embedding DIY information in their apps so consumers will consult
them as a trusted expert rather than simply
searching YouTube for how-to videos. "Items
requiring construction will have several photos
and a DIY video," he says.
Henderson believes brands and retailers
need to sync up better to ensure that shop-