December 8, 2010, 2:14 PM will become more personal and social in 2011

The new feature will enable customers to access their prior purchases and share projects.

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Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. Inc. plans to enhance its e-commerce site next year with a feature that will let customers track their transaction histories, check extended protection plan information, and share project information with Lowe’s employees and others., scheduled to launch in mid-2011, is part of the company’s strategy of improving customer experience, chairman and CEO Robert Niblock told attendees at the Lowe’s 2010 Analyst and Investor Conference last week. will “allow customers to share more of their home improvement experiences with Lowe’s through an intuitive, customer-focused portal as well as the online communities, and project planning and product subscription tools,” Niblock said.

Lowe’s also will be focusing more online resources on so-called Millennial homeowners—young adults purchasing homes, Niblock says. The home improvement retailer, No. 81 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recently launched a Home 101 web portal targeting the group.

“This generation is an optimistic and attractive segment,” he says. “Many are first-time homeowners taking advantage of home price declines and historically low interest rates.”

The Home 101 site features how-to videos on such topics as home safety for the holidays, easy lighting projects and outdoor equipment maintenance. It also offers a discussion forum for customers to discuss home improvement projects and problems.

Lowe’s has supported the site with television, cinema and online media advertising.

Another recent addition to Lowe’s online presence is, an extension of the retailer’s Creative Ideas magazine. The site features videos, online communities and blogging.

“Members of Creative Ideas are very valuable to Lowe’s, representing twice the average trips to stores, and they shop the entire store,” Niblock says.

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