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Lowe’s app helps customers believe


If a multitude of seasonal holiday animated specials are correct, belief in Santa Claus is hitting dangerously low levels.

Thankfully, Lowe’s is stepping in with a new mobile app to help consumers prove that Santa is in fact real and visiting their homes. Lowe’s is including a “Santa Tracker” feature on its Iris by Lowe’s app that connects to the retailer’s Iris automated “smart home” system.

Free for existing Iris customers, the app prompts a series of questions that, once answered, allow the physical Iris devices in a consumer’s home to sync with the Santa Tracker. The app also offers new virtual invisible "Santa sensors" and a "Santa camera." On Christmas morning, the app will reveal when, where and how Santa visited. There is also a Santa Tracker app for non-Iris users.

Users of both versions of Santa Tracker can select where Santa's team of reindeer are likely to arrive, where Santa most likely enters and exits their home (e.g. chimney, front door, garage), indicate what Santa is expected to do in the home (e.g. stop by the kitchen for cookies, drop presents under the tree, fill stockings, etc.), and snap a photo where Santa is expected to appear.

Users can check the app before Christmas to make sure the sensors are working and open the app Christmas morning to confirm when Santa visited the home and how he moved around inside.

"Iris' Santa Tracker offers a simple, fun way for families to bring the holidays to life," said Mick Koster, VP and general manager of Iris Home Systems. "Smart homes shouldn't just be smart – they should be fun and make life more enjoyable. Within Lowe's, our Iris team is committed to helping customers create a deeper relationship with their home through smart home technology. By dedicating a little of our after-hours time to integrate Iris' real and virtual technologies this season, we're hoping to enhance each family's holiday experience and play a magical part in creating lasting memories."

Santa Tracker will not directly result in any additional sales or revenue for Lowe’s, but is a good example of using digital customer engagement for “soft” ROI. Like the Office Depot “Elf Yourself” digital offering, which also provides consumers with holiday entertainment without directly selling any products, Santa Tracker places both Lowe’s and the Iris system in the middle of consumer holiday fun, which is a pretty comfortable “soft” benefit.

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