Homebase Upgrades Online Platform to Improve Customer Experience

One of the UK’s largest home and garden retailers, Homebase, has updated its website to include IBM Commerce software in order to enhance the experience of its customers, all through the integration of online, in-store and mobile shopping.

Homebase currently offers over 38,000 different home and garden products and 40% of its customers now make online visits, but the retailer wants to go a step further than helping its customers discover the right products by offering advice and inspiration.

The new e-commerce system will guide customers through a full journey, from the selection of the product to the completion of their project, with Homebase offering support from beginning to end through interactive product details and tips.

IBM will offer advanced analytics to Homebase, which will allow the retailer to fully understand and then anticipate the needs of their customers, as well as being able to tailor the customer journey with access to over 160 different home improvement projects.

Jo Kenrick, Marketing Director at Homebase, believes the new system marks an exciting change for the store: “Our business is changing rapidly. It’s not just selling wood, nails or screws, it’s about helping our customers live in a home they really love.

“By standardising our platform on IBM Commerce, Homebase has transformed its digital presence into an interactive inspirational showroom that guides them through all their home improvement needs.”

The new changes have brought with it a strong emphasis on Homebase’s Reserve and Collect service, which allows customers to select and pay for their item online, and then pick it up from their local store just 3 hours later.

In addition to their flexible Reserve and Collect option, Homebase offers a range of parcel delivery services to suit individual customer needs. Their standard delivery service costs £3.95 for transit to an address of their customer’s choosing, which sees the parcel delivered in approximately 3 days. Services such as next day delivery and Saturday delivery are also available.

Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, said the statistics and Homebase’s new focus shows just how crucial e-commerce has become to every business: “With so many customers now shopping online rather than visiting the physical store, a website’s need to impress is more important than ever, which is something Homebase has recognised.

“As people choose to shop online rather than taking the time to visit the store, the speed and variety of delivery is essential. Customers want to choose a delivery option that suits them and at a reasonable price; next day delivery is now expected by many people. With competition from surrounding stores, DIY retailers must assess the different courier companies available to them and select a service that matches their ideal customer experience.

“The fact that the DIY industry – which has arguably been a lot slower to embrace online trading than other retailers – is now becoming increasingly reliant on e-commerce speaks volumes about where the retail sector is heading as a whole.”

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