Homebase sides with The Hut Group to build new eCommerce infrastructure

Homebase has chosen to work with THG Ingenuity, the eCommerce services division of The Hut Group (THG), to build a new online infrastructure for its DIY retail business.

A ten-year, multi-million-pound partnership has been agreed, giving Homebase access to THG Ingenuity’s proprietary end-to-end eCommerce offering. Homebase will now be able to replace its current systems and tap into THG’s web development and hosting, and global fulfilment and payment infrastructure, as well as benefit from THG’s content studios.

The full end-to-end system, which will include reserve in store, endless aisle, loyalty, digital kiosk, and personalisation features, is expected to be in place by early 2021.

The Homebase deal is part of THG’s strategy to grow its Ingenuity service in the home and garden sector. It is currently used for THG’s own brands such as Myprotein and Lookfantastic, we well as for third-party consumer goods players such as Nestle, Procter & Gamble, and PZ Cussons.

Matthew Moulding, founder and CEO of THG, which last week announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange, said: “There is huge potential for us to grow Homebase’s direct-to-consumer capabilities with our proven infrastructure and services.

“The global retail landscape is changing and the current climate has accelerated digital plans for many businesses.“

Damian McGloughlin, CEO of Homebase, added: "This partnership will significantly fast-forward our digital plans and create an incredible new shopping experience for customers.

“We have a unique opportunity to move with the rapidly changing retail landscape, and leapfrog ahead to an experience that exceeds customers' demands for online shopping that's both easy and inspirational.”

Meanwhile, as part of ongoing changes to its digital proposition, Homebase has recently introduced a flooring visualisation tool on its website.

The visualiser has been developed in partnership with laminate flooring manufacturer, Egger, and allows customers to overlay Homebase flooring on uploaded photographs of rooms in their home. The idea is to give people a better idea of what products will look like in situ.

Another recent innovation is the online kitchen visualiser tool which allows shoppers to map out and price up their kitchens from their own homes.

These new features are currently advertised across Homebase’s social channels as well as via advertising campaigns running across local, online and social media.  

Homebase is also trialling a new type of frontage at its store in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Homebase is trialling new, brighter signage at its Tunbridge Wells store
Homebase is trialling new, brighter signage at its Tunbridge Wells store