The Home Depot will roll out more than 125,000 new hdPhones to associates in order to improve both the worker and customer experience at its stores. The devices, which are being introduced in collaboration with Zebra Technologies, HPE and Aruba, will enable faster communications among staff.
The mobile devices with Workforce Connect support communications throughout the entire store and in the parking lots, via both text messaging and walkie-talkie communications. Their advance-range barcode scanning capabilities were designed to help associates locate products, check pricing and inventory availability from as far as 40+ feet away, to assist with locating products in overhead storage.
The devices can be docked with Zebra’s Workstation Connect, which enables associates to view and demo products and specifications on larger screens, to help shoppers find the right items and complete their projects. They also feature more efficient app speeds than other mobile devices.
“Our customers expect a frictionless experience, in our stores and on their mobile devices,” said Fahim Siddiqui, EVP and CIO of The Home Depot in a statement. “The enhanced digital in-store environment allows our customers to quickly get what they need to complete their projects with the help of a more connected associate.”
hdPhones are being rolled out to approximately 100 stores per week, with plans to equip all U.S. stores by the end of 2022.
Home Depot has been putting a major emphasis on customer service with its latest tech integrations. Earlier in June 2022, the retailer adopted the Adobe Experience Platform to enhance the abilities of its customer data platform (CDP) for creating personalized campaigns. The new software allows Home Depot to minimize the chances of customers receiving offers for unrelated goods in the days following a transaction.
The retailer also has been working to improve its search function, which Daniel Grider, VP of Infrastructure and Operations, called “the new front door to our stores.” Helping shoppers find the right item on their first attempt is a key part of friction-busting and can improve both in-store and online journeys — and the new devices’ scanning capabilities can help with this.
“We want to make sure our stores are also a best-in-class experience, and digital is a big part of that in-store experience,” said Grider in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “All this requires connectivity within stores, not just for consumer devices but for the associates and managers to use. If you’re looking at a faucet that you like with a certain finish, say brass, but all the other fixtures in your house have a brushed steel finish, while we may not have that item in a brushed steel finish on the showroom floor, improved searchability allows the in-store customer to see all the different options available for a particular product.”