Monday, May 14, 2012

Lowe's puts out mobile app for Android

Mooresville-based Lowe's Inc. has unveiled a version of its mobile app for Android phones, as it continues to bulk up its digital commerce offerings and catch up with rival Home Depot.

The free app, announced last week, is the same as the  existing iPhone version. It allows users to shop from their phones, find stores and instructional videos, and track their purchases with the MyLowe's online tool. And with Android accounting for 61 percent of smart phone sales in the first quarter, it allows Lowe's to reach a big part of the market previously left in the dark.

"Expanding our app availability to Android users and integrating MyLowe's is part of empowering consumers with the ability to access information wherever and whenever they choose," said vice president Gihad Jawhar in a statement.

Home Depot, the country's largest home improvement retailer, embraced mobile apps before Lowe's, with iPhone and Android apps out for more than a year. The Atlanta-based company has also been aggressive with in-store QR code scanning and online shopping, and deployed thousands of mobile devices to its in-store clerks to speed customer service.

Lowe's, after several disappointing quarters, responded by creating the MyLowe's online portal, an iPhone app, rolling out  tens of thousands of iPhones to in-store associates, beefing up its e-commerce selection and expanding in-store Wi-Fi to allow customers to use smart phones while shopping. With its Android app, Lowe's now can reach nearly the entire smart phone market (Except for me - I'm pretty sure I'm one of the last five people on Earth with a Blackberry).

So both Lowe's and Home Depot have now placed big bets on the power of mobile technology to transform their in-store retail experience. What do you think?


Hugh Lockman said...

Mobile apps are an effective way to market your product. We can say that the average person spends more than half of the time he is awake doing something with his mobile phone (texting, calling, playing, or downloading). Hence, if you want your business to be known, reach out to your target clients through means that they rarely get their hands off, that is, their mobile phones.

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