Project: The Home Depot Appliance Finder
Client: Home Depot
Submitted by: Image Manufacturing Group

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The Home Depot partnered with Image Manufacturing Group and SapientNitro to develop the Appliance Finder virtual inventory solution.    

While developing an attractive user interface and intelligent experience, SapientNitro integrated with The Home Depot’s merchandising and inventory management system to make 100% of their inventory available to the customer. In fact, they developed a solution whereby the customer could find, choose, and purchase the product on the spot.    

Image Manufacturing Group was chosen to manufacture a brand-consistent kiosk with these requirements:    

  • Design an attractive solution that gets the attention of the customer  
  • Engineer and choose materials that are rugged and able to withstand the movement of the environment  
  • Neatly integrate the components necessary for the consumer transaction  
  • Package and deliver the kiosk to each store as required    

Image Manufacturing Group and SapientNitro were responsible for the strategy, conceptualization, design, engineering, technology integration, fabrication, and delivery of the Appliance Finder kiosk.

A customer comes into your retail store with the intent of purchasing a new appliance. The customer has potentially done some online research, identified the brand and features they prefer, and knows what color and finish they want. It’s a big purchase, so they come to the store rather than purchasing the appliance online only to browse through the appliance department and not find what they wanted.    

It’s not a stretch for this to happen considering that the store has a limited inventory footprint. In The Home Depot’s case, each store can only carry about 5% of the appliances they have the ability to sell. So how does The Home Depot keep the customer engaged and increase the potential of the transaction never leaving the store? How does the customer have the best experience possible while shopping for an appliance? How does The Home Depot best equip its floor personnel with the information they need to intelligently engage the customer and close the sale?

Product Description & Timeframe:
October 2012: SapientNitro engaged Image Manufacturing Group to collaborate on the design concepts and manufacturing procedures in regard to multiple designs  

November 2012: SapientNitro and Image Manufacturing Group made a combined presentation to The Home Depot regarding design options/signed a master service agreement with The Home Depot  

November 2012: Image Manufacturing Group delivered a mockup of the final design  

December 7, 2012: The Home Depot placed their first order request of 132 Appliance Finder kiosks to Image Manufacturing Group

December 2012: Image Manufacturing Group delivered its first working prototype to The Home Depot  

February/March 2013: Image Manufacturing Group delivered the first 132 Appliance Finder kiosks to the requested store locations for installation (pilot program)  

September 2013: Image Manufacturing Group delivered an addition order of 138 Appliance Finder kiosks to the requested destinations for installation   

The project is still live, a timing of the next store shipment is anticipated Q1/Q2 2014

The program rollout began in a sample of 130 stores and expanded to triple the sample size. Early results are in, and The Home Depot claims a 10% uptick in appliance sales in stores featuring the Appliance Finder.    

Customers who leverage the kiosk for themselves are often introverts looking for their own solutions; however, associates for The Home Depot have learned to utilize the kiosk as a sales tool, walking customers through the user interface and allowing them to experience the feature photos and videos pertaining to each product.

 Judges Comments 
  • Great deployment solving an important issue. This will surely provide ROI and improve customer experience. Love ability to request associate assistance and pay at the kiosk. Awesome job
  • Your problem was well stated and your solution was quite effective. A 10% increase in sales proves the effectiveness of this solution. I believe in the future consumers will come to expect this type of in store technology and Home Depot is leading the way.
  • Excellent idea. Great kiosk design.
  • Designing to the shopper's complete path to purchase while blending in a retailer's distribution and inventory challenges can be difficult. It seems that SapientNitro and Image Manufacturing Group created a proof of concept with strong results. Nothing can compete with an increase in wallet.
  • This was very well done. The dual-use of customer self-service or an associate sales tool was a positive outcome. The screen wasn't cluttered, and looked very user-friendly. The kiosks matched the branding of the store, and looked approachable by the users.
  • Good example of enabling web content in a retail environment supported by associates.
  • Excellent video to demonstration this solution. Very impressive solution - cannot wait to try it out at Home Depot.
  • Screenmedia supports multi-channel retail as well illustrated here. All retailers and merchants - take note!

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