Home Depot, Target Chase Online Opportunities
We’re operating in a multi-channel world, and for many traditional retailers that means trying to bring their expertise in clicks up to the levels of the brick side of the business. Two cases in point, from recent reports, are Home Depot and Target.
Home Depot, according to a MarketWatch report, has taken steps to integrate its off and online businesses, including in-store signage promoting free shipping on items such as grills and mowers. Consumers can also do searches on the company’s site to find items available in local stores.
According to Home Depot, 40 percent of home improvement projects start with consumers doing research online. Forty-five percent of visitors to the Home Depot site went there first before shopping in a store.
"There are interesting opportunities that the internet opens for us," Frank Blake, CEO of Home Depot, told MarketWatch. "It’s a way to extend our aisle. It’s an efficient way for us to communicate the [product] knowledge. It plays a lot of different roles."
Target also sees opportunities to grow its overall business through its website, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company, which is relaunching its website this week with many items not found in stores, is looking to make it easier for consumers to shop online, including reducing checkout times and more closely aligning the web and in-store experience.
The chain’s online sales only represent a small fraction of its overall revenues. According to Internet Retailer, Target is the 22nd largest retailer selling online in the U.S. Rival Walmart is number six on the list.
Interestingly, Target ranked third in a recent survey of consumers by CrossView, scoring high for delivering positive "cross-channel shopping experiences."
- Home Depot catches up on Internet sales – MarketWatch
- Target to Launch Revamped Website – The Wall Street Journal
- Best Buy is tops at linking stores and the web, survey says – Internet Retailer
- Target Corp Q2 2011 Earnings Call Transcript – Morningstar
- The Top 500 List – Internet Retailer
Discussion Questions: Are the increased efforts Home Depot and Target are making to grow online on the right track? What additional changes do you think these chains can make to most improve their dot-com revenues?