Simplifying the process by saving time and money
This solution leverages currently held data by Home Depot to provide customers confidence by decreasing the chance of measuring their kitchen wrong and making it easier to get trusted kitchen measurements. We developed a solution where customers can find their floor plan on the Home Depot website and immediately start their Full Kitchen Remodel Project.
Video edited and created by Isabel Ngan
An added search tool feature on the website will allow customers to see if Home Depot already has a customer's home floor plan. If that information does not exist, users can utilize Home Depot’s current site analysis services, where a professional will come to their house to take all the Kitchen measurements.
How we used existing consumer behavior and collected data to emphasize Home Depot’s trustworthiness
How might we bring the physical store experience of Kitchen Remodeling to a digital format?
For many homeowners, the kitchen remodeling process is a physical store experience. However, due to the pandemic, the Home Depot shifted this service to remote consultation but found it hard to integrate the physicality of the service into a digital format. With this in mind, our team looked to find ways to increase value in Home Depot’s current kitchen remodeling service during and after the pandemic.
Generative user research
We found a correlation between brand trust and informational transparency through our user interviews, competitive analysis, and user observations. Branding and legacy are not enough to gain the confidence of customers.
Customers who are looking to remodel their kitchen look for transparency (i.e the experience of previous clients, the project timing and process) and work ethic (i.e respect for other spaces in the home, advocate for the client) as a way to build trust with their contractor or designer.
Key Finding 1
Consumers want an easy way to understand the full process and be part of the remodelling process
“[ I ] wanted to know the details of the process.”
Key Finding 2
Consumers view transparency as part of the trust building process
“I appreciated contractors that got the job done right the first time and were reliable on the timing of the job.”
To further understand a customer who is seeking to remodel their kitchen, I developed two personas that captured the themes and findings that arose from our initial research: those looking to expand their families and customers seeking to make their kitchen match their lifestyle.
Through our stakeholder interviews, generative research, and competitive analysis, we found the Home Depot history and brand impact when consumers choose Home Depot over their competitors.
Customers look to Home Depot for their expertise, reliability, and flexibility to get their projects done.
Key Finding 3
Customers appreciate the consistency and fluidity of service in-store and online, which assists in choosing Home Depot over competitors.
“Our stores are focused on three main areas to help provide an ideal customer experience - In Stock, Store Appearance, & Customer Service.”
Key Finding 4
Consumers value advice from associates who understand their problem.
“Our customers expect our associates to be able to help them with projects.”
To understand the customer experience, I created a service blueprint of the current Home Depot kitchen remodelling service to allow the team to better understand the service and the number of actors that were involved.
From Thoughts to Actions
When looking through our research and findings, we found three opportunity areas where a solution could increase the customer value of the Home Depot’s kitchen remodeling service.
- How might we connect Pro-Contractors/Designers and customers earlier in the process?
- How might we immerse customers with Home Depot kitchen options?
- How might we provide customers a way to know where they are in the process?
Our team used the personas and service blueprint to ideate around these three ideas of opportunity spaces. Our team was able to show the Home Depot team the three following ideas.
Home Depot Marketplace
Customers determine the right designer or contractor based on their budget and the designer or contractor’s past work.
Similar to the way IKEA re-bundled the furniture assembly process by having the actors build the furniture, we wanted our customers to be the ones who decide on their contractor and designer. The solution would remove the reliance of Home Depot associates to match a contractor or designer with the customer.
HOME DEPOT VIRTUAL BOOTH
Customers can explore how the kitchen should look based on their budget.
This idea would provide Home Depot with a better understanding of consumer preferences. Customers would have a way to immerse themselves as they visualize and explore different possible design options.
Plan it, Track it, Build it
Increasing the transparency of the process to customers and clarifying information between all actors.
We found that this application could relieve Home Depot associates’ need to input all necessary information for all projects. This means shifting their primary centralized project information from backstage to the front to provide contractors the necessary information and notes for the job and allow Home Depot to gain consumer insights and oversee communication through a system.
Identifying hidden opportunities
After presenting our ideas to the Home Depot team, they provided us three key considerations:
- What does Home Depot as a brand bring to the ideas?
- How can the solution be novel to Home Depot?
- Consider the value to the customer, effort for the UX team, value company, and effort of the company.
As we reviewed our three ideas, we wanted to refine scope to see how we could balance customer and company value while minimizing the effort of the UX team. While reviewing our research and interview notes, our team found a hidden gem.
“Often we already have the measurements for your house. We install 10% of the floors in the US. If your house isn’t new we may have already measured it.”
Once we discovered this key finding, we wanted to answer the question: how can we leverage existing data into the current kitchen remodeling service? Our team went back to initial three concepts and ideated different ways in which Home Depot could maximise on data that they have been collecting.
Narrowing in on the solution
Leveraging data to add incremental customer and business value
We created a solution that leverages this existing data that Home Depot holds to provide flexibility for the customer during their kitchen remodeling process and pitched this to the Home Depot Enterprise and Digital Experience Team.
- Flexibility of Choice
By Unbundling the site analysis service, Home depot now offers its customers the flexibility to upload or find their measurements anytime, anywhere, and from any device.
- Time Savings
Have your measurements, upload, and move on to the next step immediately. No more scheduling appointments and waiting for an in-house inspection for weeks.
- Cost Saving
Home depot now offers the customers an option to save $99, a choice that no other competitor in the market offers today.
The Home Depot Value
- Increase in Market Share
By offering multiple ways to the consumer to engage with Kitchen Remodelling Process with HD, and with an already existing strong network of suppliers, HD would break the consumers' barrier to engage with them. This would essentially increase the customer base for HD in the Kitchen Remodelling segment.
- Increase in Revenue
With an increase in market share, HD would enjoy the benefit of increased revenue. If the new plan increases the customer base by 1%, it can bring an estimated revenue of $45MM every year. Today, Home Depot has an estimated $7.4Billion market yet to capture, which spends over $24,000 for kitchen remodeling.
- Potential other Benefits for Home Depot
Increase in brand value, Increased customer engagement leading to alternative revenue sources.
Customers can see the measuring options that Home Depot provides.
Customers see if Home Depot has the measurements. Images will not show to protect the privacy of floor plans. Customers can speak with a Home Depot Expert Associate to verify the plans are up to date.
Customers can quickly fill our their address without moving to another part of the website.
As customers make a virtual appointment for a free consultation, they can also check to see if Home Depot has measurements.
Pivoting With the Research
Through this process, our team was able two shift and pivot throughout the design process. With every feedback session, our team used that feedback to create a better next iteration. Through the process of developing service solutions for The Home Depot, I discovered different areas of possible solutions but was able to guide our team to narrow our solution scope to one that was focused and pointed.
Balancing the needs of various stakeholders is challenging but crucial
Through this process, we had to balance the needs of The Home Depot team and consumer needs. Having multiple rounds of ideation and iterations of ideas allowed us to develop a service that provides value to both the company and consumer to utilize opportunities that are hidden in plain sight and to connect them to existing assets, processes, capabilities, and technologies.
I thrive in turning research insights into potential design opportunities
Our initial meeting with The Home Depot Team provided us with multiple exploration areas. Still, it wasn’t until we could begin building out a rough service blueprint did we understand what was communicated to customers and what wasn’t. It was taking our research insights and the service blueprint we created that allowed us to fully understand areas of opportunities to see areas that would make the greatest impact on a product-service system.