Leading UK Home And Garden Retailer Homebase Changes The Game For Do-It-Yourself Online Shoppers With IBM Commerce

Deep Analytics Personalize The Customer’s DIY Journey Across All Digital Channels

ARMONK, NY - 12 May 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Homebase, one of the UK’s largest home and garden retailers, is tapping into IBM Commerce to provide highly personalized shopping experiences that are designed to meet the needs of today's consumer. By integrating in-store, online and mobile channels, Homebase is able to customize every step of the customer journey to inspire a new generation of do-it-yourselfers.

As a result, Homebase has achieved double-digit sales growth in all digital sales channels as well as a 30 percent increase in online visitors.


With more than 38,000 home and garden products, Homebase wants to help customers not only find the right products but also guide them through the successful completion of their home improvement projects. With more than 40 percent of its customers now visiting online, Homebase collaborated with IBM to help redesign how its digital channels could offer more help, advice and inspiration.

Using advanced analytics to understand and anticipate customer needs, IBM is working with Homebase to tailor the customer experience across more than 160 different kinds of home improvement projects. Homebase can now offer relevant tips and interactive product information that inspire their customers while providing fast and convenient ways to receive the products they need when they need them.

For example, IBM Commerce allows Homebase shoppers to seamlessly move from:

  • Browsing Homebase videos on their laptop to research the right types of plants for shady areas;
  • Chatting online with other customers on their experiences with these types of plants;
  • Receiving tips on alternative types of plants via email that they might not of considered;
  • Ordering that plant on their tablet from the yard after reassessing the garden bed layout;
  • Picking up the plants at the store within minutes thanks to the Reserve & Collect option;
  • Scanning bar codes with the Homebase mobile app to learn about other plants that caught their eye while at the store.

Whether the purchase is initiated online, in store or on mobile devices, IBM Commerce capabilities enable Homebase to ensure the right products are in stock at the right time from the most convenient location. It also allows fast checkout and flexible fulfilment options, from Reserve & Collect to home delivery, that best suit the customer’s needs.

“Our business is changing rapidly. It’s not just selling wood, nails or screws, it’s about helping our customers live in a home they really love,” said Jo Kenrick, Marketing Director, Homebase. “By standardizing our platform on IBM Commerce, Homebase has transformed its digital presence into an interactive inspirational showroom that guides them through all their home improvement needs.”

Homebase worked with IBM Interactive Experience to design and develop an engaging customer experience that integrates physical and digital channels to transform Homebase into a true omnichannel retailer. In addition, Homebase tapped into IBM’s ecosystem of partners to integrate additional enhancements to the IBM platform such as digital content engagement from CoreMedia and advanced search capability from BloomReach.

“Homebase demonstrates how market-leading retailers can adapt to new buying patterns by always putting the customer’s needs at the center of all their business decisions,” said Deepak Advani, General Manager, IBM Commerce. “By helping Homebase better understand their customers, IBM enhances the shopping experience in ways that surprise and delight even longtime customers.”


Homebase_IBM infographic_150508a

About IBM Commerce

IBM Commerce helps clients understand customer behavior and use insights to help deliver highly personalized and relevant experiences at every touch point. For more information on IBM Commerce, please click here.

About Homebase

Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 58 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 296 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2015, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 17,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

Related resources


This infographic breaks down the returns that UK home and garden retailer Homebase is realizing using IBM Commerce solutions. (Credit: IBM)

This infographic shows how UK home and garden retailer Homebase guides its customers on their home improvement journeys with IBM Commerce.—whether they’re visiting in-store, online or on mobile devices. (Credit: IBM)

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