Disasters are just opportunities in disguise.
At least, that’s how Home Depot saw it when they posted their strongest quarterly sales growth in nearly 20 years, with May-to-July revenue up 23% compared with the same period last year.
The trick was Home Depot’s Chief Information Officer, Matt Carey, choosing to make their mobile apps a focal point for controlling all of their internal and external traffic. According to Mr. Carey, “It was like Black Friday everyday.”
In the Wall Street Journal interview with Matt Carey, he mentions that to meet the rising consumer demand during COVID, Home Depot greatly expanded their mobile footprint:
- They quickly spun out mobile apps for curbside pickup services and real-time inventory-tracking software.
- They converted an upcoming distribution center into an online fulfillment center to help process the surge in online orders.
- They quickly added enhanced features into their mobile app, such as location-based alerts that let the store know when a customer has arrived to pick up their order.
The world has changed, and the only way for that change to be for the better is to pivot accordingly. Matt Carey made it clear to WSJ and the world that the mobile-first experience was Home Depot’s priority:
“In many ways, COVID has fundamentally changed how consumers shop. For many customers, homedepot.com or the mobile app is the new front door to the store. Our digital sales increased by roughly 100% in Q2, with 60% of those sales being picked up at our stores,” said Matt Carey.
For Home Depot and other retail giants, providing a good mobile experience requires building out infrastructure that can weather unexpected growth. After all, Niantic didn’t quite realize the traffic that Pokemon Go would get when it debuted, famously resulting in what can best be described as a “strained” launch due to the sudden influx of users overloading their servers and systems. It is during these times of tremendous growth that the weak points come to light, for small bugs and crashes that are within acceptable margins based on expected traffic can balloon into unexpected disasters at scale.
If your mobile app is vital to the success of your business, then you must take steps to ensure you can succeed when you start getting your own Black Fridays.
Home Depot knew they needed to invest in their mobile efforts for them to be successful. That’s why they use Embrace to monitor their mobile app to ensure that it always runs at peak performance to deal with Black Friday, every day.
How Embrace Helps Mobile Teams Like Home Depot
When Home Depot struggled to solve issues using their existing tooling, they knew they needed a more comprehensive platform to help them identify, prioritize, and solve the issues affecting their users.
Enter Embrace, an observability, monitoring, and developer analytics platform built for mobile teams. We are a one-stop shop for your mobile app’s needs, including error debugging and monitoring app performance and feature releases.
With Embrace, Home Depot was able to:
- Identify and solve a performance regression causing median startup times to balloon from 1.9s to 3.2s. The period affected by this bug saw a 13% decline in revenue. With Embrace, Home Depot was able to recapture millions of dollars in lost revenue.
- Proactively get alerted to a new crash, and with Embrace empowering the mobile team to immediately reproduce the issue with full session replay, Home Depot was able to solve the crash in just 3 hours.
- Discover a network endpoint that returned 500s over 40% of the time. This endpoint was used to create credentials for new users so they could make purchases in the app. By solving this issue, Home Depot estimates they reclaimed over $400,000 in lost revenue per year.
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