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Customers become their own interior designer thanks to Qmatic technology

Bedfordshire – 26 June 2012 – Homebase has today launched a new online home décor solution using technology from Qmatic, the world leader and innovator in customer flow management (CFM). Create Your Own Look allows Homebase customers nationwide, to access Homebase’s kiosk-based interior design technology online via www.createyourownlook.homebase.co.uk.

Previously only available through selected stores, Create Your Own Look is now accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, and combines Qmatic’s new media technology with software and systems integration from HintTech, a specialist in the development and integration of digital media software solutions.

Customers using the system can either upload a photo of their lounge, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom or use a template room to trial various colour schemes and textures of flooring, paint or wallpaper, allowing them to visualise their room using their preferred Homebase products. Up to 200 different designs can be stored to a user name, allowing customers to return to their ideas at a later date. Designs can be printed and brought to a local Homebase Store, or customers can order directly online, using the product codes selected on their design.

The launch follows the successful roll-out of Create Your Own Look kiosks in a few pilot Homebase retail stores, which in its first month and within a single store saw 1605 interactions, with 98.5% of customers finding it useful as an interior design tool.

As well as providing the in-store digital displays, Qmatic provided crucial design work, using real images of flooring, paint or wallpaper, factoring in light and shadow within a room and also ensuring perspective of both wallpaper and flooring. The final result is a very realistic simulation, compared with some of the cartoon images used in other stores.

HintTech provided Homebase with the software development and technical system implementation. Written from scratch, the system was designed to scale for wider store roll-out as well as to be available online for both in-store use or remotely by customers. Derick Price, Sales Director at HintTech said, “Providing a software and technical system behind Create Your Own Look, which was scalable to business requirements was essential to Homebase’s business vision. We were able to quickly deploy a solution that can be used directly by the consumer and which adds value to Homebase’s offering. Qmatic’s design input allowed the end product to look very professional and provide very realistic colour matches and perspective.”

Stuart Batt, Head of Digital Media at Qmatic commented: “We have all been through the hassle of decorating samples, taking them home then going back to the store, possibly several times. This technology takes a lot of the guess-work out of creating a colour scheme at home and provides genuine value to customers before they commit to the outlay of decorating materials. Customers that use Create Your Own Look are amazed at how easy it is to use and enjoy playing around with different colour schemes and materials. They can share their ideas with friends and family and store a combination of designs for consideration. The whole process can now be done at home online, without even stepping through our door.”

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About Homebase

Homebase is one of the UK’s leading home enhancement retailers selling over 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has more than 340 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland serving over 65 million customers a year, and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2011, Homebase sales were £1.6 billion and it employed some 19,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

About Qmatic

Qmatic is the world leader and innovator in Customer Flow Management (CFM) solutions that are designed to increase sales and productivity while reducing costs for organisations in the retail, retail finance, public, healthcare and travel sectors. Its software, hardware and consultancy helps organisations such as, HSBC, Barclays, DVLA, Homebase, Boots, Marks & Spencer, Post Office and UK Border Authority to value time within the physical customer experience and derive real-time management information (MI) that powers meaningful business decisions. This MI can drive important considerations such as in-store/branch/location skills routing, store layout and design, employee training and job satisfaction, customer loyalty and retention, brand equity, opportunity sales, real-time feedback and problem resolution as well as efficiency and cost control. Qmatic’s services range from barriers, through to both independent and networked virtual and linear queue management systems, to mobile phone applications, kiosk systems and new media.

About HintTech
HintTech is a specialist in e-business technology (DotNet, Java platform, Tridion) and IT projects (development, testing, implementation, application management and quality assurance). The company was started in 1997 and works with innovative and proven technologies and methods. HintTech provides qualitative custom solutions for its clients. For Tridion, Microsoft, Sun J2EE and IBM WebSphere, HintTech is an advisor as well as partner. HintTech counts Shell, Nuon, Fortis, ING and KLM as clients. It currently employs 113 people and has offices in Delft (Netherlands), San Francisco (US) and Novi Sad (Serbia). For more information: www.hinttech.com.

Contact Information
Natalie Sutton/ Kimberley Gray
Proud PR
Qmatic[at]proudpr.com
07768 026197 / 07884 405835

This press release was distributed by SourceWire News Distribution on behalf of Proud PR in the following categories: Retail & Fashion, Computing & Telecoms, Home & Garden. For more information visit http://www.sourcewire.com/about.