Lowe's understands mobile. They don't just 'talk the talk', but they have an app that can be used to 'walk the walk' through all of their store aisles that allows users to comparison shop, read reviews, etc.

Lowe's, a U.S.-based chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores that has retail stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico serves more than 14 million customers a week in its 1,710 stores in the United States and 20 in Canada.

Before diving into the mobile app, let's take a look at a few mobile stats:

  • 1 in 5 smartphone users scan product barcodes, and nearly 1 in 8 compare prices on their phone while in a store. (Source: comScore)
  • 39% of instances where a consumer walks out of a store without buying were influenced by smartphones. (Source: Mobile Commerce Daily

With more and more consumers having mobile lifelines that can share competitors' prices with them in a matter of seconds, the power is truly in the hands of the consumer.

Lowe's carries thousands of products - everything from wood and nails to refrigerators and carpeting. For each of the products they carry, there are numerous brands vying for the sale. How can users differentiate between products when they have similar specs and price points? The Lowe's mobile app allows consumers to scan a product barcode in a store to reveal all product information, pricing, an option to purchase online, and to read consumer reviews. 

The user experience of scanning a barcode in-store unrivaled. There are a few options based on which type of barcode is seen and some visible instructions to be used as a 'last resort' if the initial few scans didn't work.

Users are able to shop around, view products that are only available online, view prices for all products, and even read reviews for the products. In order for Lowe's to make that sale, and prevent users from leaving the store, they need customers to be actively engaging with their mobile app, and not doing blind searches on Google or Amazon.  

Reviews of all kinds are accessible via the mobile app. Users can feel an increased sense of confidence in their purchasing decision after reading through testimonials from other consumers of a particular product. 

Lowe's even go so far as to have featured 'look books' that help to sell in products from around the store (most likely chosen based on exclusive partnerships, etc.). Regardless, the mobile experience was more fluid than many similar desktop experiences I have had. Parts of the room are clickable - revealing product information and an opportunity to purchase.


Highly recommend reviewing this application from an information architecture and user experience perspective. Fluid and intuitive, the Lowe's Mobile App will be with me the next time I am in the store. By creating a way to integrate the digital world with the real world, specifically near point of sale, they are strengthening relationships and giving the consumers the tools needed to make smart, educated purchases.

Brian Reilly

Published 13 September, 2012 by Brian Reilly

Brian Reilly is an Account Manager and Social Media Lead for Revolution Digital, a full-service digital shop in NJ. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Comments (1)



Retailers are getting smart on the app front. many are looking at SubtleData (www.subtledata.com) to synch their mobile apps with the store's Point of Sale systems. It effectively makes mobile POS possible without buying a new POS.

almost 6 years ago

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