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Will Home Depot's Mobile Native Ad Test Clean Up Confusion About What Links Work BestHome Depot wants you to get to that spring cleaning and home fix-up list — and it’s banking on mobile to reach you.

The company is calling an end to the wild winter experienced in many parts of the country with mobile ads designed to reach homeowners via native ads and “deep links.”

Those deep links are transmitted by ads that link directly to product selection pages (not just the home site). Home Depot will test to see if that maneuver drives more springtime sales.

Home Depot is bent on “connecting the in-store and online experiences,” according to a news release at its blog.

“The Home Depot has expanded its aisles – bridging our in-store products to items available on homedepot.com,” explains the company. “Online shoppers have more options than ever – whether they choose to have their purchases delivered straight to their home or shipped to their nearest store for pick up. In 2014, almost 40 percent of all orders on homedepot.com were picked up in a local Home Depot store.”

It gets better. Inside the stores, The Home Depot mobile app can identify precisely where promoted products are located on the store’s shelves. It works through text as well as voice-enable search.

“Smartphone-enabled catalogs extend the in-store aisles by connecting customers to a much wider variety of product options available online,” the company notes.

“Our new spring calculators, project planners and mobile functionality are exciting new tools and key features within an integrated in-store and online shopping experience,” says Hal Lawton, senior vice president for hardlines at The Home Depot. “Customers can feel empowered to combine the merchandise expertise of our associates with interactive, easy-to-use online and mobile tools to save time and money when taking on their spring projects.”

Industry analysts are intrigued.

“Home Depot is definitely testing which works better,” said Esha Shah, manager of mobile and strategy at Fetch, a research firm. “Home Depot is being very scientific in their approach to spring home improvement advertising. They have created a hypothesis about how each ad will affect viewers.”

Shah says campaigns could be improved by the testing.

“By differentiating the creative aspects of their ads, the platform they run on and the page the ad links to, Home Depot can more precisely test which ad formats achieve the best results, and improve their campaign accordingly,” she explained.

It’s spring, after all — the time when consumers come out of their cocoons and start buying home improvement products again.

“Spring and summer are both good times of the year for marketers such as Home Depot to reach mobile users with messaging about projects,” Ms. Shah said. “Spring is a time when people are gearing up for summer activities and home improvement projects are a big part of this.”

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