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Home Depot’s Project Color app paints best-in-class omnichannel experience

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July 29, 2015

The Home Depot's new Project Color app

The Home Depot’s new Project Color app

A new mobile application from The Home Depot helps paint shoppers find the right shade and is the focal point of an effort to create a best-in-class omnichannel experience the chain says is an improvement on similar offerings from other marketers.

Recognizing that choosing the right shade of interior and exterior paint is a pain point for do-it-yourself shoppers, The Home Depot set out to develop a mobile application that would enable users to view a realistic depiction of what a particular shade would look like in their home. The Project Color app is meant to complement the previously launched Color Center section on The Home Depot’s Web site, where shoppers can explore interior and exterior paints, get ideas for how to transform a space with paint, chat with an expert and search for paint by name or code.

“What we are most proud of is that you are seeing the true rendering of what you will see on your walls,” said Samara Tuchband, general manager for online merchandising at homedepot.com. “We feel we have done a outstanding effort to achieve this.

“The challenges we heard are that there are lots of apps out there that can do this, but it often comes off as looking not as realistic,” she said. “We are giving a very realistic rendering of what that color is going to look like in your space, in your lighting conditions and around your furnishings.”

Lighting variances
The challenge with apps that try to give users a way to view what a particular shade of paint will look like by adding it to a photo of a room is that they often erase the shadows in the room, thereby erasing depth, per Ms. Tuchband. As a result, customers are disappointed when they see the final result.

The Home Depot’s app tries to address with technology that detects lines, shadows and lighting variances to allow for a more real-to-life reproduction of what a project could look like.

The app also leverages augmented reality to tape off and mark the hard lines in a room.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 1.33.41 PM

Users can upload a photo or choose “live view” and start exploring the thousands of shades available at The Home Depot. Favorite colors can be saved and project images shared via social media, text and email.

The Project Color app was released for iOS on June 21, with an Android version launched more recently.

TV campaign
The retailer is supporting the app’s launch with a television campaign that positions it as providing a new way to paint by enabling users to take any color on a virtual test-drive. The ad also underscores how the app is part of the Color Center experience across mobile, desktop and in-store for finding the right color.

The decision to develop the Project Color was based on the retailer’s own consumer research showing that consumers often feel paralyzed when picking a shade of paint, resulting in multiple trips to the store and putting off projects.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 1.33.35 PM

The Home Depot also discovered that consumers are kicking off their research for the right shade of paint online before going into a store.

In addition to assisting shoppers who are doing research at home, the app is also designed to help store associates help customers in-store.

Ms. Tuchband reports that all of The Home Depot’s major brands are participating in the project, meaning shoppers can – once they have figured out the right shade – easily narrow in on the right brand.

“Our real objective is that we were looking to help our customers with a best-in-class omnichannel experience,” Ms. Tuchband said.

“The app was really launched as a complementary product to [the Color Center] experience so that regardless of how I decide to engage, the app becomes a complement to that by saying, hey I want to experience color in my own space – the app now allows for that,” she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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