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Homebase poised to transform its online shopping experience, with interactive site ‘ready by Easter’

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Troubled home and garden retailer Homebase continues its quest to turn around its fortunes with an extensive revamp of its ecommerce proposition, promising to ‘transform its online shopping experience’ by Easter 2021.

The retailer is looking to move from being simply a DIY store to being a “place of inspiration, expertise and products – and it all starts with revamping its ecommerce.

By Easter 2021, Homebase customers will have access to a brand-new website, offering a range of exciting and interactive new features, including ’before and after’ pictures and design and style tools to help them turn their home and garden ideas into a reality.

Improved navigation, shoppable multi-product images, instant ’add to basket’ functionality, and new payment options including PayPal and Google Pay will make it even easier to shop from the wide range of products and create the latest home trends. 

Working in partnership with The Hut Group (THG), Homebase is looking to build on investment already made in product range and inspirational shopping experiences over the last two years as part of the Homebase turnaround. The retailer also says that the programme “marks a bold new step that will accelerate Homebase to its vision of being the go-to place for the inspiration, expertise and products customers need for their home and garden projects from start to finish”. 

Homebase will combine its 40-year heritage and deep understanding in home and garden with The Hut Group’s globally recognised e-commerce credentials to uncover and maximise powerful real-time data insights.

This will allow Homebase to even better understand its customers in real-time, tracking trends to help them find exactly what they’re looking for whether they’re shopping online or in-store.

On the website, AI-driven recommendations will allow Homebase to deliver a more personalised customer experience and make it even easier for the customer to get everything they need. 

Damian McGloughlin, CEO of Homebase, comments: “This partnership will significantly fast-forward our digital plans and create an incredible new shopping experience for customers. We have a unique opportunity to move with the rapidly changing retail landscape, and leapfrog ahead to an experience that exceeds customers’ demands for online shopping that’s both easy and inspirational. We’ll combine the best of bricks-and-mortar with THG Ingenuity’s world-class expertise, to advise, excite and inspire our customers with new ways of shopping we know they’ll love.”

Matthew Moulding, Founder, Chairman and CEO of THG, adds: “We are incredibly excited to be working with one of the UK’s biggest players in the home and garden retail sector and there is huge potential for us to grow Homebase’s D2C capabilities with our proven infrastructure and services. The global retail landscape is changing and the current climate has accelerated digital plans for many businesses. This partnership is testament to the strength and reputation of THG Ingenuity to deliver a world-leading ecommerce solution that can power businesses of all sizes, in the UK and globally.”

DIY has become one of the booming sectors in lockdown as people look to transform their homes and gardens that they find themselves spending more time in. According to Bloomreach, home improvement and DIY saw sales were up 50.9% year on year in July.

As a result Kingfisher Group – owner of Homebase rivals B&Q and Screwfix –announced the creation of 400 UK jobs last week. Amazon, meanwhile, is also tapping into the DIY boom, launched an app to help visualise furniture in situ.

Homebase is banking on this trend continuing and is looking to tap into the higher-end, offering inspiration and advice as opposed to just selling the bits to make it happen.

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