Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock described its tech and store infrastructure investments as among Lowe's top strategic priorities. In the company's fourth quarter conference call, Niblock said:
"We accelerated investments necessary to begin addressing the issues with slow response times and outdated systems. In each of these investments, we focused on the critical infrastructure needed to support the strategic changes we're rolling out over the next 36 months. This meant bandwidth upgrades of 4x to 8x prior speeds and upgrading our in-store wireless network to handle video downloads for employee selling tools and customer Wi-Fi usage. And it meant rolling out iPhones to replace existing functionality and to enable the ability to tender a sale at any place in the store. These upgrades paved the way for a simple and seamless customer experience with Lowe's."
Beyond infrastructure, Niblock laid out Lowe's multi-channel strategy--including giving call center staff better access to information and the ability to close a sale while on the phone; giving in-store staff tools to scope, quote, and close a sale on-site; ecommerce site improvements; and a mobile app with over 250,000 items. He described the MyLowe's platform that lets people do things like scope projects and save room dimensions, save owner's manuals and warranties, and access purchase history. But most interesting to me are these upcoming plans to take that experience with mobile, and make it interactive with sales associates in store: "We'll also fine-tune existing MyLowe's capabilities while providing customers mobile access to their MyLowe's accounts and the ability to share and collaborate with Lowe's associates."