Increase in net sales by $1.1B for The Home Depot by creating omni-channel coupon experience


Product Manager (Capstone)


The Home Depot

Team Size



3 Months

To perform a wide competitive analysis across other retailers (Dicks Sporting Goods, Target, Walmart, Kroeger, Amazon, Lowes and others) to surface best in class vs. worst in class and outline Home Depot’s current competitive position. Create a POV on what changes The Home Depot should make in regards to coupons and the potential value.


DIY Users

Today’s coupon experience for our customers is built on archaic experiences that rely on paper based coupons as well as barcode sheets for the store associates. The experience leads to customer disappointment as customers often times forget the coupon at their home, treat the flyers as junk mail” as well as misguided execution by front line associates where we give unintended markdowns to the customer and/or are not giving the customer the most qualified discounts.

In order to derive recommendations on how to improve the coupon experience, i have drafted a plan as follows:

  • Stakeholder introductions, Validate Problem Statement in detail
  • Stakeholder Meetings: Credit Marketing, Loyalty Program, Pricing & Strategy
  • Current Coupon Ecosystem
  • Competitor analysis & User Journeys
  • Home Depot Visit: Contextual Inquiries & Interviews
  • Personas, Affinity Map, Opportunity Analysis
  • Customer Segment based Opportunity analysis Draft 1
  • Recommendations V1, Strategy
  • Recommendations V2
  • Wireframes, Prototypes
  • Final Review with stakeholders

Competitor + Non-Competitor Analysis

After discussing with the stakeholders I have finalized 8 companies to perform in-depth analysis on their current coupon ecosystem and derive opportunities for Home Depot from their practices. Few of the chosen companies are direct competitors and few are non-competitors, but leading retailers in their domain by establishing loyalty programs with their consumers.

To understand the current ecosystem of chosen retailers, we have visited and experienced end-to-end shopping journeys with the online and offline stores. We also interviewed the store managers to get some insights on their current coupon ecosystem.

We then mapped online and offline journeys, starting from pre-shopping to post shopping to identify learning and opportunities that can help Home Depot.

Later, I mapped an omni-channel customer journey for the direct competitor to observe the channels that they are operting through, and where should Home Depot focus on to have a competitive advantage.

THD Store Visit & Guerilla Research

The next step was to observe Home Depot users and perform guerilla research to understand their experience with Home Depot's coupons. We conducted contextual inquiries with users in-store and cashiers at the checkout. We have also interviewed store associates to learn the pain points that they have in-store in regards to coupon redemption.
We have placed ourselves at different touchpoints in the store and performed contextual inquiries with the store associates. We had some great insights on how home depot is perceived by the customers, how are they currently interacting with the Home Depot coupons and what are their current pain points to use coupons.
We noted all the points from store visit and performed affinity mapping to derive reasonable insights. Due to confidentiality agreement, i am not able to share the insights, but happy to discuss when we connect.
One Interesting observation, is that there is a sub-persona in PRO users, which are RUNNERS. Runners are the workers of PRO users who visit HOME DEPOT to perform daily shopping or shopping based on current job. To further understand the personas and their frustrations, goals we defined the personas and mapped their journeys.
Now, we have the insights from the store visit and pain points, opportunities from the user journeys. We also have insights from the competitive analysis. Combining all of them we have 20+ insights and opportunities for Home Depot. We later developed 6 recommendations by combining the opportunities and backing them up with the evidences from competitive Analysis and store visit.

We ended the capstone by developing prototypes to explain how the recommendations can create an omni-channel coupon experience for the users, to seamlessly checkout and stay loyal to Home Depot.

Omnichannel coupon tracking and clipping

First recommendation is enabling coupon tracking and coupon clipping. As Home Depot moves towards Price Engine from CMS, omni-channel coupon experience can be targetted to achieve. Be it physical coupons or offers sent via SMS program or Perks or any other coupons, they should be saved in the users profile. To do that, going forward physical coupons can have a QR code to save it in the profile. For Pros it can be displayed inside the Perks tab. For DIY users, it can be in their profile, under offers section, which you will see in the next recommendation.

We also recommend coupons that can be clipped at various stages in the purchase journey. As per our research, clipping enables a cognitive process to view the items with offers and return back on the app to purchase the item. Also, when users get discounts by clipping the coupon instead of auto applying it at check-out, Home Depot can save millions in over discounting.

Digitizing and clipping coupons helps customers to track coupons and Home Depot to avoid over discounting
Below are the evidences from competitor analysis for those recommendations. Most of them have stopped physical coupons and have online only coupons that can be tracked in the user profile. We are not suggesting Home Depot to stop physical coupons that are sent via citi bank immediately, but it can be digitized for now, as many of the PRO users are still adapting to use mobile app for purchases.

Second evidence is about the clipping functionality that is widely in use by the competitors such as amazon, krogers and giant eagle. Product and merchant level coupons are being displayed in a separate section for users to clip them and encourage them to checkout immediately or later, by encouraging recall of products that they have decided to clip and purchase.

Rewards profile for DIY users

DIY customers currently don’t have a dedicated Rewards profile where they can see their current coupons that are available, coupons redeemed and any widget that shows their total savings associated with purchases and the purchase journeys. It is important that we have to explicitly show them to make sure our customers realise the value add that coupons are bringing in. The clip functionality can also be extended here.
When we did our research and instore visit, we realised that Home Depot customers don’t realise the importance of having an online account or an App. Below are few comments we heard from the customers. And a snapshot of one of the retailers how they are aggregating the rewards redeemed and making sure the customers see the savings in total.

Targeted reminders about coupon expiry

We live in a world of short attention spans and many deviations both offline and online. There is a need for coupons to be discovered or encountered by our customers as many number of times so that they either become resitered in their minds or we nudge them at the right time. Our next recommendation is having a omni channel and coordianted Drip campaigns for reminders of our coupons via EMail, Text and App Notifications so we continously remind them about the coupons and their expiry.

When we interviewed the customers on why they wouldn’t use coupons that are applicable, 82% of people said either they don’t remember when it expires or not aware of that particular coupon in the first place.
Research also indicates that these drip campaigns can effectively increase coupon redemption by 15%

Increase user touchpoints with the perks & offers

Another way to improve the user experience is to increase the user toucpoints where they can access coupons or items/equipments that are associated to some deals/offers. This recommendation is applicable to both DIY and PRO users. We looked at each stage of customer journey and introduced ways to increase the accessbility of coupons. For example, during browsing customers who wants to only purchase items that have offers associated, can access them by having Savings as a separate filter under which all kinds of deals and associated items will be visible. Similarly if a user has missed to clip the coupon before, user can be provided a nudge to clip the relevant coupons at the checkout too.

It’s also essential to keep reminding the users(which are PRO users in this case) about perks that they receive with each order. This creates a sense of reward and appreciation for being a loyal customer. For example, after every purchase we can either show,how many dollars in spending they are away to reach your next perk or if they reach the perk spending threshold show them how many PRO Xtra dollars they have received.

  • Net increase in sales after deducting markdown spends by $1.1B
  • Increase in coupon redemption rate by 15.8%
  • Save $34M to Home Depot from over discounting
  • Increase in retention rates with a loyalty program by 5%