Shopping at Lowe’s website is an uneventful experience most of the time, but there are some times when it’s clunky, inefficient, or simply frustrating.
Lowe’s recently issued a Q4 2019 earnings report, also discussing 2019 as a whole, and they basically said that their website is outdated and inefficient. But, here’s the good news – they’re promising to make changes.
Here’s a selection that was transcribed from Q4 2019 sales and earnings call:
And finally, as we discussed, Lowe’s.com is still under construction. As customers increasingly utilize online shopping options for convenience and efficiency in the shorter holiday selling season, Lowe’s.com lagged market growth, delivering comp growth of approximately 3% for the quarter.
Let me remind you at the beginning of 2019, Lowe’s.com was sitting on a decade old platform. And although we’re in the process of re-platforming the entire site to Google Cloud, that work will not be completed until Q2. The good news is at Lowe’s.com we know exactly what our issues are, and we have temporarily slowed our dot com growth to resolve those issues. We recruited a very experienced and talented team, and we have a detailed project roadmap to modernize our website. We expect to see a trajectory change in this business in the second half of 2020, which we are very excited about.
Basically, it seems that they’re working to overhaul the website, which sounds good to me. It’ll be months before we see the modernized website, but it’s good to know they’re working on it.
One of the key strategic steps improving Lowe’s.com is the transformation of our supply chain. Consequently, we are also investing $1.7 billion in our supply chain over a five year period. And in 2019, we opened three new bulk distribution facilities and four new cross-dock terminals. I look forward to updating you on our ongoing improvements of Lowe’s.com and our supply chain on future calls.
Does this mean that my online orders where I select shipping/home delivery won’t be cancelled because stores or maybe a distribution warehouse can’t find what I ordered? That happened a few times to me, the last time with Mechanix work gloves I ordered.
Improvements like these sound good to investors, but it also sounds good to me as a customer.
We expect to capitalize on a supportive macroeconomic environment by executing on our four strategic areas of focus. Driving merchandising excellence, transforming our supply chain, delivering operational efficiency and anticipate customer engagement by focusing on the Pro. Our improved Lowe’s.com platform will allow these four strategic areas of focus to create a true omnichannel ecosystem for Lowe’s so we can efficiently serve our customers anyway they choose to shop. And our intense focus on retail fundamentals combined with improving systems and technology will continue to pay dividends across the business in 2020.
Honestly, I don’t know how to interpret this or translate it into plain-language description.
Lowe’s will be focusing on:
- Merchandising excellence
- Transforming the supply chain
- Delivering operational efficiency
- Anticipate customer engagement by focusing on the Pro
They described how they will “transform the supply chain,” but I can’t tell you what “merchandising excellence” or “delivering operational efficiency” really means. “Anticipate customer engagement by focusing on the Pro” – I wonder what this will entail.
Our improved Lowe’s.com platform will allow these four strategic areas of focus to create a true omnichannel ecosystem for Lowe’s so we can efficiently serve our customers anyway they choose to shop.
It sounds to me like Lowe’s is doing a lot more than just giving their website some cosmetic updates.
Okay, cool, let’s check back in a few months and see how Lowe’s website has changed.
I have always despised the Lowe’s website and search function. So many items pull up with nothing to do with my searches. It is very inconsistent.
They need to also move away from ‘green screen’ computer programs running the stores.
They have started to do this according to the customer service department. Has caused some issues in online orders but supposedly it will be an improvement.
Those “green screen” POS look an awful lot like the sort of vax based mini computers that were big in the 80s. I guess it works for them, but I can’t help wondering how much of their IT infrastructure is soon going to be dependent on them buying obsolete junk off ebay.
What they need to update is their in-store POS system. My first job was at Lowe’s back in 2000 and the monochrome MS-DOS system was outdated, clunky and irritating back then. I regularly chat with the current employees while I’m checking out and they hate it as much as I did 20 years ago!
Have appreciated the in depth with this and the article about the toolbox company. Would like to know where Ace Hardware stands. Our local Ace seems to be doing well, low employee turnover, and always can point me to what I need.
Lowes website has always been abysmal, glad to see they’re finally making changes.
As mentioned by previous poster Lowe’s.com…well sucks to directly state the obvious. Their search engine to find items is archaic and if the exact name of the item isn’t typed in it will show “no results found.” Walmart used to have similar problems but thankfully got it corrected…mostly. Home Depot has done an excellent job but does suffer from that said above regarding typing in something exactly or no results found. Just not a bad as Lowe’s! Amazon and eBay correct what your searching for by asking you “do you mean?” or even correcting your typos while in search mode. In summary, I am glad Lowe’s has finally acknowledged their “sucky” website are hopefully will be a lot more easier to use.
The Lowe’s store near me closed Sure miss it. Have another one 25 miles away, but not in that town very often. Might have to go the online route.
As a former member of the lowes.com team that was there at the last “platform relaunch”, I can tell you they are incredibly slow to move on changes because they have too many chiefs and not enough Indians (pardon the pun). The company has always operated in the shadow of “What is Depot doing? Let’s go that direction, now”. That’s the culture. Period. They try to portray innovation as a company but the culture is FAR from incubating that direction. The heads of the company and dot come come from JC Penny’s and Sears. (that should speak volumes as to what to expect) Until they can recruit true e-commerce talent at the top, excuses like the one’s given in the analyst calls will continue.
All I could think of reading that was: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyV_UG60dD4
Yeah, this paragraph contains a lot of marketing and Wall Street doubletalk. I happen to speak both of those languages fluently, so here’s a translation:
“We expect to capitalize on a supportive macroeconomic environment by executing on our four strategic areas of focus.”
–> The economy seems to be doing pretty well, so we are going to do 4 things to make money. It’s really embarrassing when it’s raining money and we can’t seem to get our fair share.
“Driving merchandising excellence”: We are going to figure out which items customers want to buy and stock more of those, and we’re going to stock less of the stuff they don’t want.
“transforming our supply chain”: Once we’ve figured out what we’re going to sell, we’re going to figure out how to order it and get it to our stores so that people can actually buy it. In other words, we’re going to try to get our warehouses to be less of a bunch of screw-ups, because you can damned well better believe we’re not going to pay for more inventory.
“delivering operational efficiency”: we’re going to spend less money and be more cost-efficient while we do the above two things, which usually cost lots of money to accomplish. Trust us.
“anticipate customer engagement by focusing on the Pro.” We’re going to appeal more to pro’s because they come back to the stores more often and spend more money than the DIY types that we’ve focused on for 30 years. This detail escaped us previously.
“Our improved Lowe’s.com platform will allow these four strategic areas of focus to create a true omnichannel ecosystem for Lowe’s so we can efficiently serve our customers anyway they choose to shop.”
–> There are a bunch of different ways that people shop: in-store browsing, buy online/pickup in store, and on-line with delivery, and we’re going to be equally good in all of these. In other words, we’re going to treat online ordering as a real thing and we won’t treat it anymore as a fad that might die out like the Macarena, so we’re finally going to invest real money in it.
“And our intense focus on retail fundamentals combined with improving systems and technology will continue to pay dividends across the business in 2020.”
We’re going to suck less when all of this is said and done.
Too bad their CEO has never tried to understand their intended customers.
He is too busy copying his prior employer, Home Depot. If I wanted to shop HD that is where I would go. He needs to have original ideas and programs specific to Lowes and become the leader not a copycat.
I believe it was the same fellow who closed Orchard Hardware on the west coast because “the $900+M in sales wasn’t worth their (his?) time and effort to manage”.
Ain’t Wall Street just grand?
He’s probably going to do Lowe’s like he did JCPenney, and almost run the company into the ground before leaving with a few hundred million dollars.
Totally agree with you. Worked at Lowe’s 14 years. Somethings never change. It’s always been two steps forward five steps back. It will take a small miracle for the company to ever get ahead. Moral of employees is always low. A very depressing place to work
“Up here in the rareified air of the Executive Dining Room we’re so far removed from what happens with the customers we don’t really know why we’re not doing well, so we’re going to change a bunch of stuff we don’t know anything about and see what happens.Trust us, it’ll be wonderful.”
Poor inventory control, inadequate staffing, incompetent shipping, stunningly incompetent software design and support, sure, fix it all.
I’m confident it’ll go from “worse than completely useless” to “agonizingly painful to use” in no time at all.
Sounds like the realized they didn’t want to be the retailer with the worst site out there, one designed to not take your money easily, and that is/was Sears.
What I like about Lowe’s website is their inventory system, much more accurate than HD. If you use Brickseek for sale items, Lowe’s beat HD. Their prices are also accurate to the local stores. HD web price isn’t reflective of local sales. Let’s hope they keep the positive stuffs in their redesign.
HD has better search and online customer service.
Yes HD is the better all around experience to actual find something. HD though ALWAYS has what you want, in stock. Lowes is a crap shoot on quantities EVERY TIME.
Couldn’t agree more. We are “focusing on the pro” and being “Customer Centric” yet I can complete their orders because, exactly as you say, inventory levels are atrocious. Why didn’t you make your 20k this week?”
My slogan for our company is “Lowe’s, just enough to piss you off”. We will have part of your project but not all. But the stuffed unicorns for Black Friday were a great idea….
Just usual corporate BS. Top management is still out of touch. They use “Old Retail” logic, similar to failed retailers such as Sears and Penny’s. Stores still do not know h
where stock is located. Management plays the inventory game each quarter, running inventories so low, items are out of stock. ust to make Wall Street metrics look better. Floor sales folks have to tell customers, sorry we do not have that item. When suggesting Costermers purchase items on line, costmers respond, forget it, is not worth the frustrations;I will get it somewhere else. Current CEO and board are more concerned about pleasing Wall street rather than customers and employees.
A day at the Pro Desk seems like a majority of it is apologizing. ” I’m sorry we didn’t have that. Would you please take a survey? And please remember we only get credit for nines or tens”. A seven may be an honest assessment of your experience and give our corporation valid information for improving the customer experience. Unfortunately, all it seems to be used for is berating the employees and management and a way out of us earning our flimsy bonus. As an employee, I really wonder if these surveys are even read by corporate. It would seem to me they go no further than our marker director. I am not sure if he would even be able to identify your basic building products.
Same here, I’ve always hated their website so this is good to hear, hope their new website really is an improvement.
One thing that I thought was funny is whenever HD’s website went down for maintenance, Lowes’ website would be down too with a very similar message. Always made me wonder about that.
Let’s just blame Jeff Bezos. They likely both use Amazon Web Services. ;-)~
Didn’t Lowes move all their IT to India a few years ago? They put a lot of people out of work so they could save money.
Merchandising excellence -> Stop carrying items that people actually want to buy, the margins are too low. Instead, carry high-margin items we want them to buy.
Transforming the supply chain -> Change suppliers to ones we want to direct money to, even if they aren’t as experienced or reliable as our current suppliers.
Delivering operational efficiency -> Fire employees making more than minimum wage, offer to re-hire them at minimum wage. Employ only the minimum number of people necessary to run the stores even if that means customers can never find an employee to help them. Make the customers be their own cashiers at self checkout and don’t pay them.
Anticipate customer engagement by focusing on the Pro -> Get ready, we’re going to change the focus of the business to commercial accounts and large-volume buyers.
I just hope they keep the updated inventory and accurate in-store pricing on the new site. I’d MUCH rather keep their crappy site and those two features than have a clean site like HD’s without those features…for deals I have to go to HD. For deals at Lowe’s, I go online and go to the store that has the cheap clearance pricing.
Some people’s experience between Lowe’s vs HD is diametrically opposite.
In terms of layout, clutter or lack thereof, product selection, staff availability, helpfulness, pricing, mark downs, etc. Lowes has been consistently better in the two states I frequent. The only reason I go to HD since moving, is that Lowes is now a half hour away. And, where I have seen the best service between both, is where they’re physically located across the street from each other. Because if they don’t step up, people just drive across the street.
The number one thing they need to address is their bargain bin iOS app that anno 2020 is still a very weak phone app, with no tablet compatibility. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that all these years later, it is not a universal app.
As far as the DOS / CLI thing. Having talked to an engineer who’s team designed and maintains the POS system for a major international retailer. They have avoided significant costs, technical & security issues, and whatever retraining of staff for decades by continuing to use a proprietary setup, then added a GUI layer. Relative to some other retailers who have experienced major upgrade outages, system lockdowns, …
So, while something may not be the most user friendly at first. If it works, is safe, logical to use, etc. why change? There are countless examples of where newer ( web 2.0, dynamic, responsive, … ) does not equal better, faster, …
I’m always leery when companies say that they “know exactly what the issues are…” At least this time it should be pretty obvious, and a quick read of this thread should tell them all they need to know. The fact that I have to use Google to search your website instead of your own website should sound off the alarms in 2020… Add to that the pricing and cancellation issues, and it’s just plain painful to shop on their website. The app is also terrible – using it in-store to try and locate items while blank pages pull up on the app is simply unacceptable.
All I read was the title and can we say, Hallelujah?
I work in Pro & all you say is true, frustrating for me and my customers. I am helpless as the “face” of Lowe’s to my customers. In addition, we no longer have brochures or samples and nothing to assist the customer in decision making. I say “I can’t sell what you can’t see”. So where is the focus on the Pro?
Everything at Lowe’s is done in bits and pieces over time. Never done when it’s supposed to be. When its finally done they have to start over again cause it took so long and its obsolete already.
Been with Lowe’s for 16 years in Pro Services and must say the last year has been embarrassing at best. These leaders have nothing original and as they have all come from Depot and merely copy them. Lead from behind. “Operational Efficiency” seriously? Mr. Ellison has obviously not been in a store in quite sometime. You have eliminated so many positions in the store with the reason of “More customer facing employees” Really? Then why didn’t you transition the assemblers and RTM and FSA associates to positions on the floor? Nope, just eliminated.
Let’s be real and just admit that it is all about the shareholders not the customer. You have eliminated the experienced’ knowledgeable staff for cheap labor. You have become the Walmart of home improvement. I honestly feel sorry for our customers.
For those of us who have built relationships with our Pro customers and actually have a passion for them, I say shame on you! Embarrassing!
How about you get rid of all the displays in the store that cannot be ordered but with no “Not available” signs on them so our customers who serve customers don’t have to apologize to their customers because the item they picked out is not available even though it’s right there on display! How about letting me sell to my customers without having to jump between 2-3 different systems that hardly work on a good day.
I am responsible to sell 20K a week (Only get credit for Pro Tender however so if I sell a 10k deck to a do it your selfer it does not count towards my 20k), ask for them to sign up for a Lowe’s credit Card, please take a survey and remember only nines or tens count, and sign up for the new Pro Loyalty program. Sorry you couldn’t get that item on display or you had to wait thirty minutes for your “ready to go” order or that there was no one in that department to help you due to the new “customer centric scheduling” and that the 18 year old kid trying to cover two departmenta can’t find the price on the Hardi Trim in our system because he has no idea it’s under “Caulking” or that the MDF is under “West Coast Fascia”. Maybe you should fix the in store problems as well.
Every single dollar a customer is willing to spend with me is a compliment whether they put a nine or ten on your useless surveys or not. We’ve taken enough if their time in store due to the lack of staffing I couldn’t even imagine asking them for five.more to do a survey. But hey, we all know that’s just a way for the leaders at the top to say “Didn’t make your survey goal of 90 avg so no bonus”. More for the company to buy back shares of stock to inflate the stock price.
So for those of you who do shop at Lowe’s and help keep food on my table I sincerely thank you and really appreciate it. Some of these red vests really do care. (Even thot we are beginning to wonder if those will change to orange soon. But hey, imitation nis the highest form of flattery)I hope they do fix the website and several other issues for all of you who spend your hard earned dollars at our stores. Thank you!
I was at Lowes tonight and noticed the they had added additional order online – pickup in store spaces with a 15 minute time limit. I don’t think I have ever be able to be in and out in 15 minutes when picking up. The item is always in the back of the store and they have to search for it. Home Depot’s locker system is so much more convenient. They also close the self-checkouts in the evening, just when I want to run in and grab an item while my wife waits in the car, and usually only have one full service register open.
The website thing is good. I don’t really care for any of the big 3 websites (Lowe’s,Menard’s,HD) at the moment. And I’ve commented on this before but the customer service at our store has been fantastic in the last year. There’s always folks asking if you need help with finding anything or have any questions. One time a lady even helped to load up my wife’s cart which she still comments on. They really need a makeover of their check outs though. At HD you pretty much check yourself out at our store which is ok I suppose. Menard’s however is awesome… Large areas or conveyor belts to set your items on and their computer system is Fast. They have you checked out and on your way quick.
Lowe’s sucks on this. Their computers are so slow and archaic. They have no conveyor belts or even an area to set your items. You literally take things out of a cart one at a time and put them back in. A serious PITA. If you need to get in and out quickly, sadly you really are forced to go to Menard’s whether you wanted to or not. At Lowe’s it’s gonna be awhile. And then you have to pick how you want your receipt (which is also slow). Followed by the ‘take our survey’ speech which drives me nuts. It’s like Eddie era Sears where you have to listen about Shop your way. I just want to check out quickly and have space to unload the cart.
HD is absolutely the exact same if your store has been reset lately, zero counter space, receipt question, etc
Agreed. And believe me, we associates get very tired of having to as you to take the survey. God forbid if a member of management observes us not asking for one. Really appreciate your business. Thank you.
Hopefully they’ll revamp that joke of an IOS app too. Home depot is killing them in this area.
After reading this article, I order 4 sale items online at Lowes for in-store pick-up. According to the web site, all 4 items are in-stock at my local Lowes. By the time I get home from work, there is an message on the answering machine that Lowes has cancelled the entire order because none of the items are in-stock. Seriously?
They can improve their web site all they want, but if their inventory system is not accurate, I’m not wasting my time placing orders.
How about a couple of tin cups and a string to place an order? It worked well when I was a kid, maybe Lowes should go backwards in time for communication??!!😄. In all honesty though, I am very grateful to live so close to one! It’s so much better to see items hands on, than to purchase online.
Annnnnd…. it’s worse. Lol The Website (and especially the app) are such 💩.
Im legit curious as to “Why does Lowe’s suck so bad?”
I’ve ordered here and there, online, with an occasional hiccup that gets fixed pretty quickly.
However, every store I’ve been in (more than I care to admit) has been a nightmare of a hassle in dealing with “Customer Service”.
They need a way to contact store manager so that an issue can be resolved without lower level management making the issue worse, or passing the buck.
The web site is just awful!!!!!
I have always favored Lowes over Home Depot, but between the constant Lowes “out-of-stock” /inventory control situations (not COVID 19 / 2020 situation, but current spring/summer 2021) and this new slow, inaccurate, difficult-to-navigate and just plain useless website, I am quickly becoming primarily a Home Depot customer. Very sad.
It’s 2022 now and the website still sucks. I chose a category and clicked. The screen changes to a blank white page, so I figure maybe it’s downloading the info. Ten minutes later and still a blank white screen. That’s why I end up saving more money at Menards.
2023 Report: Website still sucks. It’s slow. It still won’t remember my preferred store. Search results are absurd. I don’t know if they have improved inventory control because I rarely have the patience to complete a purchase from them.