Google Cloud and Lowe’s [NYSE: LOW] announced the two companies are expanding their work together to create a best-in-class technology foundation to help Lowe’s deliver exceptional customer experiences and empower store associates with tools to better serve customers, regardless of how they shop.
This technology foundation for the home improvement company includes new investments toward modernizing Lowes’ e-commerce, merchandising, supply chain management, and pricing systems—ultimately providing a more fluid, “channel-less” customer experience spanning from product discovery to return visits. Lowe’s is in the early stages of a large-scale, multiyear technology transformation, investing more than $500 million annually through 2021 and hiring up to 2,000 engineers to continue to build out future retail experiences.
“We are making substantial investments in technology to modernize our platforms and advance our digital capabilities to better serve customer needs and deliver the best service and value across every channel,” said Seemantini Godbole, executive vice president and chief information officer of Lowe’s. “Partners like Google Cloud provide the innovative tools and support we need to execute our digital transformation.”
At the upcoming NRF 2020 Big Show in New York, Seemantini Godbole will speak about Lowe’s IT transformation. In addition, Neelima Sharma, Lowe’s senior vice president, technology e-commerce, marketing and merchandising, will discuss Lowe’s journey with Google Cloud on a panel moderated by Carrie Tharp, vice president, retail at Google Cloud.
Lowe’s began transitioning off its legacy e-commerce system in late 2018, choosing Google Cloud with the goal of increasing the speed, reliability, and performance of Lowes.com. The new platform helped Lowe’s improve the stability of its e-commerce site during this year’s peak holiday buying season.
Lowe’s is now looking at how Google Cloud technology can improve the customer experience across all parts of the business, with a focus on three key areas:
- A seamless, personalized digital experience: Lowe’s is working to optimize the online customer journey, from search to navigation to checkout, personalizing the experience for different types of customers.
- Merchandising and inventory improvements: Using Android-based mobile devices and Google Cloud technology, Lowe’s is giving store associates the ability to view and update pricing and inventory on-the-fly. The company has rolled out 88,000 SMART Mobile devices to allow its associates to efficiently access realtime data without leaving the sales floor or losing engagement with a customer.
- Data analytics and machine learning: Lowe’s is also leveraging Google Cloud to grow its capabilities using machine learning and analytics. By centralizing its data lakes into BigQuery, Lowe’s will empower employees across the company to gain greater visibility into different aspects of the business and make more data-driven decisions. This data centralization, coupled with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, will provide Lowe’s with the ability to model everything from the impact of severe weather to demand forecasting.
“The winners in the retail space will be those who focus less on the individual transactions and more on building long-term customer relationships that evolve and stay relevant as consumer preferences and channels change,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “Lowe’s already has great relationships with its customers, and we’re helping extend that in new and exciting ways.”