HD Supply Site Review: Part 1

HD Supply Site Review: Part 1

HD Supply Site Review: Part 1

HD Supply is one of the leading distributors of industrial supplies in North America. With a projected 1.16B in sales for Q1 2018, and over 60% of sales online (from 2016 reporting), HD Supply is a key distributor to look at as a digital leader.

 “HD Supply has a multiyear, customer-centric digital vision…We made significant investments in our digital foundation across all areas of the business as well as the customer’s daily e-experience.”

– HD Supply CEO Joe DeAngelo, 2017

HD Supply faces a challenge: their wide range of product offerings across several trades requires a unique organization. Their eCommerce solution is challenged with turning this complex structure into a simple shopping experience. Due to their size and volume of products, HD Supply has separate sites:

  • Main page (hdsupply.com)
  • Facilities Maintenance eCommerce site (hdsupplysolutions.com)
  • Construction and Industrial eCommerce site (https://www.whitecap.com/shop/en/wc/home ).

Each of these sites is distinctively designed but all contain recognizable branding elements to clearly signal that it is a HD Supply site.

While it’s not ideal to require customers to jump to different sites, HD Supply does a good job of keeping their main homepage focused on products, search, and leading customers to the right place. The homepage offers a large search bar front-and-center, and the ability to select the types of products the user is looking for (Facilities Maintenance or Construction & Industrial). Users can go to three key areas:

  • clicking on “Shop Facilities Maintenance” takes them to that eCommerce site
  • search bar next to “Shop Facilities Maintenance” lets users immediately search for products within Facilities Maintenance
  • clicking on “Shop Construction & Industrial” takes them to that eCommerce site

Both eCommerce sites follow best practices by getting products in front of online customers as quickly as possible, but their approaches are slightly different. In this two-part article, we’ll review how both ecommerce sites approach their homepage, product information, and basic account management.

This is this first part of a two-part review of HD Supply’s online experience.
This article reviews HD Supply’s Facilities Maintenance eCommerce site.

 

HD Supply: Facilities Maintenance

Homepage

HDSupplySolutions.com is the ecommerce site for the facilities maintenance division. Our research shows that customers arrive at distributor sites for three main reasons: to shop, to research, and to manage their accounts. The HDSupply Solutions homepage makes all three of these options easily accessible. Top product categories are highlighted, allowing users to quickly navigate immediately to a target category page. A full list of product categories is also available from the main navigation. Although the search feature is not as prominent as it could be, the search bar is placed in a familiar location where users can easily find and use it.

Options to register for an account and login are available in a common location, but the customer shopping experience is not disrupted by forcing an immediate login or registration. While customers are required to have an online account to place an order, they are not prohibited from shopping before doing so. HD Supply has seamlessly integrated the account registration into the checkout process so users are free to perform the activities that brought them to the site in the first place.

HD Supply has also built in customer services features:

  • a phone number for orders at the top of the page
  • a phone number for website questions at the top of the page
  • live chat for online assistance

HDSupplySolutions.com not only makes it easy for users to find products, but also makes adding those products to the cart a seamless experience. After login, the Quick Order pad is available on the homepage. Here customers can quickly type in items by part number and add to their cart in bulk. While this is prominent and easy to find on the homepage, it is not accessible in the site navigation (or the footer), making this Quick Order function unavailable as users research and shop through the site.

 

Product Detail Page

Product Detail
The product detail page is loaded with information for customers. Product images, pricing, and availability details are front and center at the top of the screen, along with other promotional messages (Free Shipping, Next Day Delivery, etc.). In addition, HD Supply includes other related items based on similar customer purchases, providing a cross-selling opportunity. Given the amount of product information, HD Supply does a good job of organizing the information into digestible chunks. The long page format displays all of the product details without requiring the user to navigate away. HD Supply has provided links to easily navigate to specific sections, making it easy to find a specific specification from the large amount of information presented.

Price and Availability
The treatment of pricing and availability varies for guest and authenticated users.  Prior to login, pricing for some products is not displayed, and the user is prompted to sign in to view price. Customers are still able to add products to a cart prior to login, but pricing information for specific products will not show until the user has logged in or created an online account. This decision is beneficial since it allows customers to continue to browse and complete their cart before having to take the time to register for an account.

Product availability information is accessible from the product detail page, but is an area that could be improved. Currently, no detailed availability information is displayed immediately on the product detail page. Customers must click on a “Check Stock” link to prompt a modal displaying more details. While this design does remove users temporarily from the product detail page, HD Supply has a nice modal featuring – including an “Add to Cart” button on the modal itself so the customer is not required to return to the parent page before adding the item to their cart.

 

Price and Availability
The treatment of pricing and availability varies for guest and authenticated users.  Prior to login, pricing for some products is not displayed, and the user is prompted to sign in to view price. Customers are still able to add products to a cart prior to login, but pricing information for specific products will not show until the user has logged in or created an online account. This decision is beneficial since it allows customers to continue to browse and complete their cart before having to take the time to register for an account.

Product availability information is accessible from the product detail page, but is an area that could be improved. Currently, no detailed availability information is displayed immediately on the product detail page. Customers must click on a “Check Stock” link to prompt a modal displaying more details. While this design does remove users temporarily from the product detail page, HD Supply has a nice modal featuring – including an “Add to Cart” button on the modal itself so the customer is not required to return to the parent page before adding the item to their cart.

 

Account Management

HD Supply Solutions is successful in making account management accessible but not overpowering. When logged in, a simple menu of account management activities is added to the top of the header, providing easy access things like quotes, orders, and saved product lists. All of these options (and more) are also easily accessible from a dropdown that is added to the header after login.

 

Key purchasing features for authenticated (logged in) users:

  • Order and quote tracking with basic information on submitted quotes, and the ability to convert a quote to an actual order.
  • One-Click Order feature, with tracking separate from traditional orders.
  • Saved Lists (a common feature in eCommerce) to save and group products for future orders
  • Frequently Purchased feature which automatically tracks and organizes frequently purchased products for customers to easily re-order.

Key account management features:

  • Basic account and order information
  • Quick check on quote and order statuses, view past orders
  • Organize products for future use.

One area that needs improvement is the process for invoice payments. Although HD Supply does offer this service, it is implemented through a third party and requires the customer to register separately for access to electronic invoices and payment methods. For the smoothest experience, sites should strive to eliminate any barriers between the customers and the information they need, and if possible, avoid secondary accounts or login requests.

Key Takeaways

  1. Clear priority is given on the Facilities Maintenance Site to shopping, researching and self-service. There is some branding –  promotional banners at the top and along the left side, they don’t compete for the user’s attention in getting to desired products.
  2. While Quick Order (after login) is well presented on the homepage, integrating it throughout the site would be more valuable to visitors who may not want to go back (or never start at) the homepage
  3. Product Detail Page takes the challenge of presenting a lot of valuable information in a way that’s accessible, clear and easy to scan
  4. Integration of availability – so that it’s immediately available on the Product Detail Page – would help diminish the friction of clicking on a link and closing out of a modal

Although the Facilities Maintenance (HDSupplySolutions.com) and Construction and Industrial (Whitecap.com) sites are both HD Supply sites, their design approaches vary. In Part 2, we review the HD Supply Whitecap.com eCommerce site.

 

 

 

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