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IRX 2014 PREVIEW Paul Loft of Homebase on multichannel journeys

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Paul Loft, managing director of Homebase, is a keynote speaker at IRX 2014. Emma Herrod, editor of Internet Retailing magazine, spoke to him ahead of the launch of the new Homebase website. Her feature appears in the next issue of Internet Retailing magazine.

DIY retailer Homebase has been faced with challenges during the course of the recession: not only have the house sales that are so important to the DIY market dropped in recent years, customer behaviour has also changed.

Interviewed by Emma Herrod for the latest issue of Internet Retailing magazine, Paul Loft, managing director of Homebase, explained how the company is adapting its use of digital technology to meet not only the needs of customers who want to approach DIY in new ways, envisaging the result they want while asking others to do the work, but who want to shop in different ways. “More help and advice,” says Loft, “is where digital is able to help staff help customers.”

In response, Homebase has taken digital into the store, introducing technology and staff to help customers choose their look and the products they need. The Decorating Centre, for example, has touchscreen that customers use to access the Create your Look room-styling tools.

Online, the company is set to launch a new website in April. Like the stores, it aims to inspire, offer advice while also allowing those with a task in mind simply to buy the paint or other tools they need.

Loft says the company is still moving towards offering customers a seamless experience on their shopping journey across sales channels. “Our view of the customer experience is ahead of where technology and the customer experience currently sit,” he said.

Read more about the Homebase multichannel experience in Emma’s feature, published in the next issue of Internet Retailing magazine. Or hear Paul Loft speak in person in the Customer Experience and Journey conference at IRX 2014, where he will deliver his keynote presentation, Increasing sales through engaging the customer at every touchpoint on the omnichannel journey, on March 26 at 10.30am.

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