As online evolves and e-commerce grows, Home Depot's vision of interconnected retail continues to morph. The retailer is leveraging its brick-and-mortar presence, blended with its virtual assets to better optimize the new technology and new shopping behaviors. "That really is from our company's perspective the center point of our strategy," said Kevin Hofmann, senior vice president and president of online for Home Depot, at the Goldman Sachs Dotcommerce Conference. "Interconnected retail isn't a tangential distraction; we're convinced that this is the future."
Leveraging mobility and new digital technologies is a smart move for the retail industry, especially as it seeks to engage younger consumers accustomed to using mobile devices to communicate, browse and play. But as with any new endeavor, retailers should proceed with caution and pay heed to the following:
Earlier this month, a dozen or so gun rights activists walked into San Antonio-area outlets of Sonic and Chili's with long rifles strapped across their backs. In both instances, managers of the burger joint and Tex-Mex chain acted quickly, requesting that these members of Second Amendment advocacy group Open Carry Texas leave their premises. After Mother Jones found and posted videos of these two incidents, Sonic and Chili's reacted, although both stopped short of joining Starbucks, Chipotle and Jack In The Box in asking customers to leave guns at home.
Publishing content is a unique breed of marketing and promotion. Unlike traditional means such as banner ads, live events, offers, etc., content marketing isn't directly promotional. Rather, it's about coming up with content that informs, entertains or inspires your audience. So how exactly can you use content marketing to your advantage? Below are a few best practices and examples of what you can do to take your e-commerce content marketing to the next level:
eBay Now is a same-day delivery service, but not for items offered on eBay.com by its millions of sellers — at least not yet. Instead, the eBay Now service is exclusively for local brick-and-mortar retailers in certain cities: San Francisco and the Peninsula, San Jose, parts of New York City, Chicago, and Dallas. While Best Buy, AutoZone and Toys"R"Us were among the first retailers to participate in eBay Now, the list of retailers now participating include the following featured stores: Home Depot; Office Depot; Walgreens; GNC; Radio Shack; Macys; Microsoft; Guitar Center; Bloomingdale's; and Urban Outfitters.
Talk about deja vu. It's been only four months since shoppers dodged elbows and raced through the aisles to capture Black Friday's best deals, but the sales are making a comeback at Wal-Mart for spring as the big-box retailer looks to take a bite out of the growing home improvement sector. On Friday, Wal-Mart is slashing prices and debuting deeper offerings in its outdoor living and lawn and garden segments. The move puts pressure on home improvement leaders Home Depot and Lowe's, which consider the critical spring selling season their version of Christmas.
Lowe's said Wednesday it plans to hire about 25,000 seasonal employees at its U.S. stores during its spring busy season, down from 45,000 workers last year. Lowe's and peer Home Depot have been rare bright spots in the retail sector as they continue to benefit from the U.S. housing recovery. Rising home prices and improvements in home construction and new home sales have led homeowners to open their wallets for remodeling projects or big-ticket items. Last week, Home Depot said it will hire 80,000 workers in the U.S. in preparation for spring, matching last year's hiring level.
Home Depot and Lowe's are under fire for selling pesticides that some believe are partly to blame for killing billions of the nation's honeybees. Petitions with thousands of signatures are being delivered to the home-improvement retailers demanding they stop selling the pesticides along with any plants that have been treated with them. "There's a growing body of science indicating that the pesticides are a key factor in recent global bee deaths," said Lisa Archer, director of the food and technology program at the environmental group Friends of the Earth.
Home Depot said Wednesday it will hire 6,300 associates in Canada to support its spring busy season, down from last year's plan for 6,700 employees. Home Depot and peer Lowe's have been a rare bright spot in the retail sector as they continue to benefit from the U.S. housing recovery. Rising home prices and improvements in home construction and new home sales have led homeowners to open their wallets for remodeling projects or big-ticket items. The home improvement retailer said it will hire full-time, part-time and seasonal workers across its 180 Canada locations.
This past January, as I've done for the past five years or so, I trekked into New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center for the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Big Show. I was met, as I was in past years as well, by retailers from around the world. I spent time at this year's conference attending presentations and press conferences; meeting and interviewing retail industry execs in the press room; and walking the vast exhibit hall floors trying to find the "next big things" in retail technology. Here are a few of my takeaways