Lowe’s Launches Video Chat Tool for Virtual Repair Consultations

The new service allows home repair pros to livestream advice to consumers.

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Need to Know 

  • Lowe’s has launched a new tool that allows home repair professionals to provide virtual consultations with consumers.
  • The home repair retailer teamed up with Streem to launch Lowe’s for Pros Jobsight, an augmented video chat service for plumbers, contractors, and other professionals.
  • The program allows professionals to livestream with consumers and offer direct guides into home repairs during the ongoing pandemic.
  • The program is free for Lowe’s Pros Loyalty Program members between June 1 and October 31.
  • There is no download required: The chat program, which features AR tech, opens directly from a mobile browser.

Analysis

Lowe’s has released the first step in a $25 million commitment to support small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The home improvement retailer has launched a new tool to support repair professionals currently struggling, as well as homeowners who are reluctant to have strangers in their homes. The new video chat service allows homeowners to chat with home improvement professionals via a livestream. 

Lowe’s for Pros JobSight is an “augmented video chat service that allows plumbers, contractors, and other professionals (“pros”) to conduct virtual home visits with customers.”

Powered by augmented video chat service Streem, the new service combines video and augmented reality (AR) to help the “pros” evaluate home repair and maintenance projects. 

“We rely on Pros now more than ever to keep our homes and businesses safely up and running, which is why we are working hard to build new ways to keep Pros working and to be the new home for Pros both now and into the future,” said Fred Stokes, senior vice president of Pro Sales and Services for Lowe’s. “Today’s announcement with Streem is just the first of many ways we will provide Pros new and innovative options to connect with their customers while social distancing. We will continue to invest in expanded Pro product offerings and prioritize services and partnerships to help run and grow their businesses.” 

To utilize the service, a contractor will send a client a text message with a link to the video chat, which opens in a mobile browser. The home repair pro can use an on-screen laser pointer and AR quick-draw tools to guide a customer through a virtual consultation. After the session, the pros can then review and share a one-page summary, full video and audio of the call, and hi-res photos and notes from the call. Because the service opens in a mobile browser, no download of an app is required. 

Stokes says the new service is targeted to home repair professionals who may have had jobs canceled or postponed as clients put off services during the pandemic.

“Our goal with this customer is to keep them working,” he said. “If you keep them working, then it keeps them in your stores. It keeps the trips up, the spend up.”

Between 20% to 25% of Lowe’s sales come from pros. The program is available for free to members of Lowe’s Pros Loyalty Program members from June 1 through Oct 31.

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