In this episode of Coffee + Commerce, we break down The Home Depot’s e-commerce site with Faisal Masud and Ryan Bartley. Faisal is CEO at Fabric and was previously the director of AmazonBasics and CTO at Staples. Ryan is co-founder at Fabric and previously worked alongside Faisal as director of mobile at Staples and product manager at eBay.
The Home Depot is an American retail company that specializes in home improvement and lawn and garden. The Home Depot reported a 100% growth in sales on their e-commerce platforms in 2020 Q2 compared to 2019 Q2. However, as Faisal and Ryan point out in this breakdown, there are many opportunities to grow e-commerce sales even more by improving the user experience.
[0:20] The homepage pushes sales, not relevant products.
The Home Depot’s homepage boldly advertises 40% Off and prompts the user to “shop now” but there is no clear purchase path. Faisal notes that people don’t shop for a sale; they shop for a particular purpose.
[0:40] Avoid “choose your own adventure” experiences.
It’s not clear which purchase path the user should take or how they can find the best product. Faisal uses the following example: His garage is a mess and he needs some garage storage. Home Depot’s site does not make finding a storage system easy.
[1:10] Make search more precise.
The Home Depot’s search tool is decent. The summary view is helpful. Its downfall is that it gives the user brand names without ratings or reviews. This makes it difficult for the user to make an informed decision. Also, there is no “fit finder” for garage storage, something that would help narrow the search and help someone find the right fit. On top of that, every single item is out of stock.
[1:50] Recommend related items for out-of-stock items.
For out-of-stock items, there is a field where users can add their email address to have The Home Depot notify them when the item is back in stock. Faisal recommends that there should instead be a reference item to purchase.
[2:01] Create an interactive mobile app.
Item descriptions are wordy and the site is generally overwhelming. Faisal and Ryan recommend an interactive platform for use with a mobile device. This would create a cleaner experience and make fit finding easier with AR technology. If or when such an app exists, it should be pushed across the entire desktop and mobile e-commerce site.
[3:00] Add fully landed costs to cart.
The cart does not offer fully landed costs. It tells the user that tax will be calculated at checkout and there are no shipping estimates. Also, the PayPal logo under the checkout button is incredibly large for how many people must use the feature.
[3:41] There is conversion friction without an option for guest checkout.
There is “conversion friction” when proceeding to the cart because the site demands that users create an account in order to check out. A better option is to offer a “guest checkout” button to increase conversions. The PayPal option is also no longer available at this stage.
[3:55] Humanize live chat.
The chat is a small button and easy to miss. It takes a long time to load and it lacks a lot of features. It is not live, and only allows the customer to send a message to a virtual assistant that is not equipped to handle real questions.
[4:15] Offer multiple digital payment options.
Once they find the PayPal option again, Faisal wonders why they don’t also include Apple Pay. There should be multiple options at checkout to create a sale.
To make changes based on these recommendations and upgrade your e-commerce site, a headless commerce setup is vital. This makes it easy to add new e-commerce functionality and features while maintaining full control over site experience. To learn more about this modern approach to e-commerce, check out Fabric.