Home Depot’s Pivot to Livestreaming is Paying Off

The home improvement store now hosts 40 livestreamed workshops a month.

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Need to Know

  • During the pandemic, Home Depot went from hosting five in-store workshops to 40 livestreamed workshops per month.
  • The livestreams feature Home Depot associates guiding viewers through home DIY projects, which have surged in popularity due to COVID-19 work- and study-from-home restrictions.
  • There are also professionally hosted workshops featured on Home Depot’s YouTube channel.
  • Livestreams are not shoppable, but attendees receive a 15% off coupon a few days after the stream that can be redeemed on an online purchase.

Analysis

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, consumer spending habits made a substantial shift towards home decor purchases and DIY projects. Home Depot has benefited from this shift, not only in sales but in the success of its livestreams.

Home Depot quietly launched livestreamed DIY workshops last spring, transitioning its popular in-store workshops to the digital medium as bricks-and-mortar stores closed due to the coronavirus. Pre-pandemic, Home Depot stores hosted an average of five workshops per month; there are now approximately 40 livestreamed workshops hosted on the Home Depot website per month, each attended by hundreds of viewers (attendance is capped, though Home Depot has not disclosed exact figures).

In addition to the livestreamed DIY and home improvement workshops, Home Depot launched Virtual Field Trips, which are aimed at school-aged children, to provide behind-the-scenes tours showing how products are designed and built, in October. Those videos are an effort by the company to assist parents as they “search for new ways to teach and entertain at home” during the pandemic, DeStefano, VP of brand strategy at Home Depot, said at the time.

Home Depot had been planning to add livestreaming prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the coronavirus accelerated the initiative. DeStefano said the company “didn’t want to leave our customers without our knowledge, especially when they were doing more projects than ever.”

The livestreams are categorized under two topics, DIY and Homeowner 101, and require registrants to provide their first name, last name, and email address when they sign up. At the end of each stream, viewers are asked about how helpful they found the event, and are asked to tell Home Depot what they’d like to see in the future. Viewers are provided, via email, with a 15% coupon to spend at Home Depot online after the livestream has concluded, but none of the streams are sponsored or shoppable.

Home Depot hasn’t promoted any of its livestreams via social media; instead, they’re linked out on YouTube and promoted heavily through customer emails and on Home Depot’s website. The company plans to update in-store signage this summer to promote the workshops, as well.

Home Depot has seen huge sales spikes during the pandemic, particularly digitally: the company reported an 86% year-over-year increase in sales from its online and mobile app channels in 2020. In December, the company announced it would be expanding its online categories to include new decor and furnishing options to meet a spike in customer demand.

At the time of that announcement, president and COO Ted Decker said Home Depot is aiming to position itself as a one-stop shop for home improvement projects. “Consumers were going to fewer and fewer retailers even pre-COVID and now, even more so,” he said. “Why do you want to ask a customer to make two or three stops to finish their project?”

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