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Homebase launches 'Create the Look'

Homebase has launched 'Create the Look', an interactive digital media solution provided by Qmatic, the world leader and innovator in customer flow management (CFM) and underpinned by HintTech, a specialist in the development and integration of digital media software solutions.

Customers arriving at the Aylesford branch of Homebase in Kent are able to upload a photo of their lounge, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom to a 32" digital interactive touch screen to 'personalise that room'. Alternatively, they can 'Create the Look' of their choice, using a template room to visualise their dreams from the right flooring, paint or wallpaper designs - all of which are available to purchase or order in-store.

"We know that technology plays a key role in allowing customers to visualise how they can transform their homes. The Qmatic-HintTech solution fits with our vision to be the First for Decorating," said Jon Hamilton, Customer Service Development Manager for Homebase.

To make Homebase's vision a reality, Qmatic provided the new media technology including all the design work to use real images of flooring, paint or wallpaper in addition to the 32" digital interactive touch screen. The technically advanced system uses real images of both the wallpaper and flooring, keeps the light and shadow, and also works out the perspective of both the wallpaper and flooring. The final 'Create Your Look' image looks very realistic compared to the cartoon images some shoppers have used at other stores.

HintTech provided Homebase with the software development and technical system implementation. Written from scratch and deployed in under three months, the system was designed to scale for wider store roll-out as well as to be available online while being supported locally in-store or remotely. Derick Price, Sales Director at HintTech said, "Providing a software and technical system behind 'Create the Look' able to scale to Homebase's business requirements, whether on-line or throughout its stores, was essential to the businesses' vision. We were able to quickly deploy such a solution that provides a great example on how to take digital media direct to the consumer while delivering measurable revenues for Homebase."

Stuart Batt, Head of Digital Media at Qmatic said, "Customers are amazed at the level of help and service available from this product and are impressed with how easy it is to upload your own photo. Digital media provides an opportunity for stores like Homebase to provide a service that helps customers make decisions while presenting opportunities to increase customer purchases." Stuart continued, "During this period of economic turmoil, impressing customers that take the time to visit a physical store is essential to growth and success. Providing an extraordinary in-store experience helps to ensure that every new customer becomes a repeat customer. Qmatic plays a key role in improving the customer's in-store experience; revolutionising how businesses utilise in-store marketing material with innovative technology solutions that are tailored to the customer's needs."

Homebase launched 'Create the Look' at the new store opening. In the first month, 1,605 interactions occurred and 428 room designs were printed. 98.5% of customers using the screens have found it useful; highlighting that they would use the screens again to help them create the right look at home. The pilot in Aylesford has been so successful that Homebase expects to roll-out to more stores.

Source : TMC News
www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/09/05/5751594.htm

05 September 2011
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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