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Retailers: You’re In a Tech Hiring Race; Follow Home Depot’s Lead

Brendan Miller
Brendan Miller
Principal Analyst
April 19, 2018

This week, The Home Depot  announced that it is pressing the gas further on its digital initiatives by augmenting its existing 2,800-person tech team with another 1,000 IT, product, and CX tech workers. What’s behind this? Not one to rest on its laurels, The Home Depot knows that it needs to grow its digital expertise because:

  • Customer obsession is king. Winning in the age of the customer means delivering experiences that are easy, effective, and emotional. The Home Depot’s laser focus on continually improving its customers’ digital experiences is evident from its leader status in our 2017 Q4 evaluation of retailer mobile websites, where it outpaced customer experience champs like Amazon, Best Buy, and digital-first Wayfair.
  • Customer obsession can’t be outsourced. Keeping up with rapidly evolving customer expectations and demands requires massive tech worker investment and resources. There are options, of course: Retailers can (and do) outsource work to digital agencies, system integrators, service providers to create and improve digital interfaces and tools to improve the overall online and instore shopping experience. The key: identifying partners that are fully bought into their client’s (your!) vision, bring the latest skills and insights, truly drive agility with your in-house team.
  • Retailers need to control their destiny. The Home Depot faces several market factors, including rising interest rates and high levels of personal debt, both of which impact home sales and improvement projects. The company can’t control those factors – but it is taking the reins on digital and in-store services for its customers. Customer expectations rise with experiences across many sectors, not just retail. It may take an ecosystem of digital agencies, system integrators and internal techies to accomplish your digital transformation goals, but by hiring the best and brightest digital talent you can find, you’ll have smart, experienced internal employees to execute and own the most critical tasks.
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