Lowe’s ‘virtually’ goes on the job for home improvement pros

Discussion
Source: Lowe's video - Lowes4Pros JobSIGHT powered by Streem
Jun 03, 2020
George Anderson

Lowe’s is introducing a new tool that will enable carpenters, electricians, plumbers and other construction professionals to meet with customers to discuss projects without having to go to their homes.

Lowe’s for Pros JobSIGHT makes use of video, computer vision and augmented reality tech to help pros evaluate projects so they can provide quotes to consumers on a wide variety of repair and home improvement projects. Pros using the tool chat directly with homeowners and are able to conduct tasks, such as determining product serial numbers and product details. They can use an on-screen laser pointer and augmented reality quick-draw tools to work through the consultation with homeowners. When the virtual meeting is complete, pros receive a one-page summary including video and audio, hi-res photos and notes for follow-up.

Lowe’s is making Pros JobSIGHT free to trade professionals through Oct. 31. Those who sign up for the program also save five percent on the chain’s everyday prices and are eligible for zero-interest purchases using their business accounts with Lowe’s. Extended payment terms are also available.

The launch of the tool is part of a bigger effort by Lowe’s to support trade pros. The chain offers a dedicated shopping hour from 6:00 – 7:00 a.m. daily, as well as curbside loading at its stores or delivery to job sites. The retailer also has a program for small business grants.

“We rely on pros now more than ever to keep our homes and businesses safely up and running, which is why we are working hard to build new ways to keep pros working and to be the new home for pros both now and into the future,” said Fred Stokes, senior vice president of Pro Sales and Services for Lowe’s, in a statement.

Lowe’s recently reported that its same-store sales rose 12.3 percent in the first quarter as Americans observing stay-at-home orders used the time for projects around the house. Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowe’s, said, “We served broad-based project activity, ranging from outdoor landscaping and other beautification projects to essential indoor repair and maintenance work and long-deferred home projects — the to-do list that customers hadn’t previously tackled given their busy schedule.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Lowe’s for Pros JobSIGHT a technology tool that building trade professionals and their customers will welcome at this time? Are you aware of similar technology being offered for professional trade customers in the same or different customer context?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Sounds like an instant competitive advantage."
"Excellent solution by Lowe’s! Supporting contractors has primarily been the domain of Home Depot and Lowe’s needed a way to differentiate themselves..."
"A great example of a retailer identifying a segment of high value customers, understanding their current pain points, and developing tools to help them solve the problem."

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15 Comments on "Lowe’s ‘virtually’ goes on the job for home improvement pros"


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David Naumann
BrainTrust

Pros JobSIGHT is a perfect tool to help building professional service customers in a helpful and contactless way in a time when people are practicing social distancing. Similar to YouTube videos, visual instructions and advice are tremendously helpful for home improvement and maintenance projects. I rarely install complex products without consulting an instructional video and most people do the same. This is another great idea from Lowe’s to improve the satisfaction of building professionals and homeowners.

Bob Amster
BrainTrust

This is an innovative way to gain and maintain loyalty among the professional tradespeople. It can provide support where the tradesperson needs it, on the job site. The concept has further applicability in other businesses, such as field maintenance companies.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Sounds like a quantum leap in making the whole home service/repair process smarter and way more efficient for both the home owner and the professional. Sounds like an instant competitive advantage.

Lauren Goldberg
BrainTrust

This is a great example of a retailer identifying a segment of high value customers, understanding their current pain points, and developing tools to help them solve the problem. If executed well, this should in turn create brand loyalty and purchases.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

What a great idea. Homeowners can have real difficulty locating the right person for their home project; if they can find someone with ease through Lowe’s, that’s a real game-changer.

Laura Davis-Taylor
BrainTrust

Love, love, LOVE this. My plumber charges $75 just to come to my house. We had him over last week and didn’t love the idea, as we weren’t sure if he would be using a mask or not. I’m sure he wasn’t thrilled to either.

This is a huge value-add for the Lowe’s pro customers, and as competitive as that race is, kudos to them for creating such a hugely valuable enabling platform.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

This benefits both the professionals who buy at Lowe’s and their customers. It also provides Lowe’s a way to gain additional loyalty from the tradesmen who have multiple places to purchase the parts and other items they need for their work. Great concept. Will be interesting to see if their try-and-buy strategy for JobSIGHT works.

David Leibowitz
BrainTrust

Yes! The age of the virtual consultation is here, and it’s not just for telehealth. Watch this space for virtual advisory and recommendation across home goods, cosmetics and more!

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Great thinking on Lowe’s part. Of course it will be welcome now, and I believe in the future.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

Excellent solution by Lowe’s! Supporting contractors has primarily been the domain of Home Depot and Lowe’s needed a way to differentiate themselves in the eyes of those contractors/professionals. A great innovation and use of multiple technologies that really serves a need for both the pro and their customer and entices the pro to become a loyal Lowe’s customer in return. This solution will be very welcome during these times of social distancing and other pandemic concerns, but will also serve those same pros well in the future and likely help them grow their business and customer loyalty as well!

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
BrainTrust

Excellent idea. Since I have been inside my home for quite awhile, I have been thinking about projects, but I am not comfortable inviting someone in my house to help with ideas, suggestions, and plans. This is a great idea.

Suresh Chaganti
BrainTrust

Very impressive and smart business. This is a great example of leveraging technology for improving the outcomes and increasing the revenue. Even if initial roll out has issues, this is the concept that I expect Lowe’s to go all-in, and soon adopted by others in the industry.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

There’s no question that the job of estimating and planning is difficult for pros. But the people I know who thrive in delivering pro services rely heavily on yellow notepads augmented by pictures and video….

What is critical in all this is to recognize the completeness of information a pro gets from visiting the site and looking most things up themselves – they are far far better prepared. Only in the physical space can the pro notice something obscure in an out of the way place with the homeowner would miss and which would stop the job down for hours or days.

Mohamed Amer
BrainTrust

Very good initiative that integrates technology to improve or even change an existing process. Lowe’s will benefit greatly by listening to the valuable feedback provided by trade professionals. No instant hits, but can become a true advantage for both Lowe’s and the trade with a bonus of happy end customers.

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

In theory this is great. In reality, it has many limitations that are not being discussed in the simple video use case. For an obvious water heater replacement, it’s usable. For a challenging diagnostic such as HVAC–absolutely not. For a roof repair, structural carpentry issue, water leak trace, etc. etc., etc. an on-site experienced evaluator is needed. And most of the time, contractors do more than simple parts replacemnt style repairs.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Sounds like an instant competitive advantage."
"Excellent solution by Lowe’s! Supporting contractors has primarily been the domain of Home Depot and Lowe’s needed a way to differentiate themselves..."
"A great example of a retailer identifying a segment of high value customers, understanding their current pain points, and developing tools to help them solve the problem."

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