True Value is a paint manufacturer and retailer-owned hardware cooperative with over 5,000 independent retail locations across the world. Each member of the True Value co-op owns their individual stores and operates independently of True Value. The True Value co-op supports its retailers through over 3,000 associates and 12 distribution centers. Having previously tried ecommerce and ultimately abandoning it, True Value sought to reinvigorate its online channel in a new way in order to reach existing and new customers for its retailers.
As a cooperative, True Value by definition has to get buy-in for new ventures from its collective members. Nowhere was this more critical than with buy online/ship-to-store, a feature considered a must-have to best address consumer needs. Each independent retailer member had to buy into the concept and manage a dynamic, fluctuating inventory. The commitment between the collective and the individuals had to be very high.
Fry worked with True Value to set up an advisory group of store owners who played a critical part in the process for the public site as well as the dealer portal. This collaborative and interactive approach influenced requirement gathering, design, experience development, and backend tools. Fry conducted extensive store research and competitive analyses. Because True Value had stepped away from ecommerce in the past, Fry suggested a card sort study to help best identify how True Value’s customers would categorize and label the massive product offering on the site.
Because True Value also has its own brand of paints as well as other content sites, Fry worked closely with them to create a seamless transition from the ecommerce site to its paint and project sites. To this end, the ecommerce site offers an integrated search that indexes content across sites and affords customers the ability to search across sites without ever realizing they’ve left the store. (Try it yourself! Search “paint bathroom.”)
"I turned to your site because the Lowes site was not available. I found what I was looking for very quickly. I called a True Value store who had the item in stock. They are going to set it aside and I will pick it up on my way home. What great service." - Customer
"Our first order from a new costumer, we did sell additional items at the time of pickup and she is going to refer us to her friends. This was merchandise not in our inventory so this was an extra sale!" - Co-op member
"I'm a longtime customer who prefers to shop at my local hardware store. Your new site has everything I like about your stores. Happy to keep shopping with True Value on the internet and in my town!" - Customer
"The site puts a great face on the company and the brand. It works well and is easy to use from the customer's standpoint." - Board MemberLaunch the site