Lowe’s shoppers know that these stores are hubs for any and all of your home improvement needs. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your space with a fresh coat of paint or do a full renovation, this beloved retailer has got your back. Now, Lowe’s is taking steps to help make these changes even easier with a new feature that could change the way you shop. Read on to find out what major change Lowe’s just announced for shoppers — and why you may want to take advantage of it.
READ THIS NEXT: Lowe’s Is Under Fire From Shoppers for an “Enormous Amount of Damage.”
Lowe’s has been undergoing changes dating back to the beginning of 2022. Earlier this year, Lowe’s announced the launch of its new home decor brand, Origin21. The brand, which is in-house and exclusive to Lowe’s, delivers an “approachable, modern design for everyday living across the entire home,” according to an announcement from the company.
Expanding services even further, in February, Lowe’s also launched a partnership with Instacart, a popular delivery service. The company provides same-day delivery service from the home improvement retailer, with customers able to shop for roughly 20,000 products online. Now, Lowe’s is expanding its virtual offerings, this time helping to make home design that much simpler.
For those who like to spend time online, Lowe’s has good news. According to a June 21 press release, the retailer is moving into the metaverse, a virtual reality platform, via Lowe’s Open Builder. When you’re redesigning your home, you can now take advantage of Lowe’s 500 metaverse product “assets,” which you can view and download for free.
Virtual assets are “digital representations of value currencies that can be digitally traded,” according to the Financial Action Task Force. But unlike assets like Bitcoin, which you have to buy, Lowe’s has opted to make its assets — which include digital representations of different home products and furniture — free.
“Our goal really is to take this new frontier and help people use their imaginations and help them make their virtual spaces as exciting and inspirational and enjoyable as their real world spaces,” Marisa Thalberg, executive vice president and chief brand and marketing officer for Lowe’s, told CNBC. “And that’s the only benefit we seek to obtain at this point.”
RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
You can now test out your designs online with Open Builder, getting a feel for how they look before you start or invest in a full-fledged project. The virtual assets are 3D, allowing you to design different rooms. According to the press release from Lowe’s, assets include lighting, patio furniture, area rugs, kitchen and bath accessories, and décor accents.
“What we have noticed in our current mediums like Lowes.com and in our stores… people like to experiment and while they’re shopping and getting inspired they like to put things together in a virtual world before they start their project,” Seemantini Godbole, executive vice president and chief information officer for Lowe’s, told CNBC. “It’s the same idea for the metaverse. That you want them to experiment, feel and understand how it’s going to look before they start the project in the real world.”
Lowe’s is the first big home improvement retailer to make this move, according to CNBC, allowing customers to freely access assets, all of which are based on real Lowe’s products. And while the company claims they are not currently monetizing the platform and the assets are free to download, CNBC noted that data could be used to monitor customer behavior.
In addition to elements that help you plan out redesign projects, you can also use the 3D virtual accents when gaming, engaging in augmented reality, or just for creative design, the retailer said in a press release. Lowe’s understands that it is likely catering to a younger crowd with this addition, particularly those who play games online.
“If you look at kids who’ve used platforms like Minecraft and Roblox, a lot of what they do there, is fascinatingly enough, build and design,” Godbole told CNBC. “This idea of being able to build and decorate and design and improve is kind of core to how these spaces are emerging.”
This audience may not be shopping at Lowe’s or purchasing a home just yet, but the retailer still hopes to engage with the millennials who will soon be buying homes and “aren’t afraid of technology,” Godbole explained.
READ THIS NEXT: The One Thing You Should Never Buy at Lowe’s, Shopping Experts Warn.