MOORESVILLE, N.C., Nov. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on the success of a three-store pilot last fall, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), in partnership with software-powered retailer b8ta, is expanding its "Smart Home powered by b8ta" connected-home shopping experience to 70 Lowe's stores nationwide. The store-within-a-store offers an innovative shopping solution for customers interested in smart home devices. Each destination features a curated selection of top-rated smart home products and offers consumers onsite support from specially trained experts known as "b8ta testers."
By enabling customers to easily discover, learn and try the latest smart home technology all in one place, Lowe's and b8ta are providing a unique, service-oriented environment that elevates the retail experience. With b8ta's dashboard and analytics, product displays and content are easily adjustable based on customer insights, delivering a more convenient and informative smart home shopping experience.
"Consumers aspire to live a connected life and crave solutions that make this possible," said Ruth Crowley, vice president of customer experience design at Lowe's. "Smart home products simplify life – but the technology can sometimes be confusing or intimidating. So, we developed Smart Home powered by b8ta to emulate a 'lab-like' atmosphere that empowers customers to make informed decisions."
Customers will be immediately drawn to the wood-paneled aisles near the front of the store where more than 60 smart home products are exhibited. The fully immersive format includes a wide array of items ranging from security systems to thermostats, cameras to lighting, speakers and more from brands customers know and trust including Google, Sonos, GE, Nest, Iris, Samsung and Ring. Products are displayed out of the box to encourage hands-on play and enhance product knowledge. iPads with product-related content and pricing details can be found alongside each device. Smart phones are also available for customers to interact with products and supporting apps, the same as they would use them at home.
By partnering with Lowe's, b8ta is furthering its mission to bring customers unbiased access to the most cutting-edge technology and allow them to try it firsthand. b8ta's innovative retail-as-a-service solution – based on customer insights – simplifies the purchasing process for customers exploring connected devices.
"b8ta makes shopping for connected home products accessible and easy. Nationwide, consumers will have the opportunity to engage and demo a curated selection of connected products, with knowledgeable product experts on-hand to navigate consumers through their journey," said Phillip Raub, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of b8ta.
In addition to the store-within-a-store format, 1,000 Lowe's stores rolled out specialized smart home displays featuring products primed for Black Friday and the Holiday gifting season. Lowe's online shopping experience was also enhanced so that all customers – however they prefer to shop – can enjoy a curated smart home experience and learn more about the b8ta collaboration. The site provides product knowledge, including use cases to inspire ideas for creating a smarter home.
"Smart Home powered by b8ta" is available in select major U.S. markets, including New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, Tampa, Raleigh and Charlotte. For more info about store locations and to view the enhanced digital experience, visit: www.lowes.com/smarthome.
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving more than 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2016 sales of $65.0 billion, Lowe's and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,370 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 290,000 people. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.
b8ta, a software-powered retailer designed to make physical retail accessible for all, was founded by Vibhu Norby (CEO), William Mintun (COO), and Phillip Raub (CBO). b8ta helps people discover new products while empowering makers with a simple retail-as-a-service model that puts them in control. b8ta has locations in Palo Alto, Santa Monica, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco, Corte Madera, Houston and New York with more opening soon. To learn more about b8ta, visit b8ta.com, or find a b8ta store near you at www.b8ta.com/locations.
SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.