Three Tips To Attract Customers To Your Home Improvement Store With Technology

Attracting business from the big chain DIY and building supply stores to your privately owned store may require some thinking outside of the box. The trick isn't necessarily lowering prices, but offering more value for the weekend do-it-yourselfer. Weekend improvers don't have time to spend hours shopping and working on their projects, so by streamlining the process with technology, you can attract more customers.

Tip #1: Upgrade Your Web Presence

It's not enough to just have a website with your store information; you need to make it a useful portal for your business that gives value to the customer. For starters, integrate your inventory onto the site, so customers can see what you have, while also checking and comparing prices online.

Take it a step further by setting up membership status on the website so customers can have access to their own personalized web portal. This could be as simple as allowing them to develop their own "wishlist" for their next project, to being able to order online for quick in-store pickup. It's also a simple way to encourage customers to opt-in to emailed advertisements and coupons, thus expanding your mailing list reach.

Tip #2: Update Your Technology

The handheld scanners your clerks use at checkout can also provide a valuable tool for customers that are planning their next project. Checking out cordless scanners to customers is nothing new – houseware stores already do it for bridal registries, and supermarkets are starting to allow customers to scan their items for checkout while they shop.

In the home improvement industry, these scanners-- based upon handheld scanners-- are especially useful for planning that next big project. Customers can scan items they need or want for remodeling the bathroom, building that new deck, or for updating their kitchen. This simplifies the planning stage for the project, so they are more likely to purchase every item they need for it from your store.

If you integrate project scanning into your website, your customers can then access their scanned list of items from home, giving them the opportunity to further plan their projects and add more items to the wishlist before making a final purchase and beginning the project process.

Tip #3: Develop Project Guides

Some projects every homeowner has to face at some point – fixing a leaking toilet, replacing a sink washer, or updating a light fixture are just a few examples. Other projects aren't necessary, but are common enough that many of your customers will be interested in them. This includes things like painting a ceiling or installing floor tiles. Developing a series of project guides and publishing them on your website ensures that your customers know how to do them, while also handing them a useful supply list that can encourage extra purchases.

You can use shelf signage near key items. For example, near the tile grout supplies install a sign advertising your free tile installation help guide. Include your web address and a barcode for the handheld scanner, which will allow them to save the guide to their member area of the website. Alternatively, assign a mobile phone QR code to the guide web page and place the code on the sign. Customers can snap the code with their smartphone for instant access to the guide.

Moving into the technological age and making your business more accessible online helps busy customers fit in the time to both plan their project and complete it, thus increasing the chances for sales when they visit you for supplies. If you can provide knowledgeable service both online and in the store, you are more likely to foster a relationship with customers so they will keep coming back.