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Right Product, Right Place, Right Time: PPG Delivers Convenience to Pros with Launch of New App Index

  • Digital usage across industries first fueled by the pandemic, continues to accelerate; the paint industry and the professional (Pro) painter are no exceptions to this trend.
  • Pros are looking for capabilities that deliver more flexibility, more frequently.
  • PPG offers the value proposition of “right product, right place, right time” to its Pro customers, and has developed a holistic service offering, called “PPG ProFirst,” that hinges on digital
    capabilities to deliver on this value proposition.
  • PPG launched the PPG Paints App, a key component of the ProFirst strategy, at the end of October.

Pandemic Accelerates Need for Digital

In recent years, more and more retailers across industries have invested in digital platforms for the buying and selling of products. This trend was only accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced people to shelter in place, and suddenly the preference towards browsing and purchasing online became a necessity, as even shopping for groceries became a digital task. Due to this acceleration, nearly all industries have had to adopt technology to evolve alongside these customer preferences and demands—the paint industry and the professional (“Pro”) painter are no exception.

Like most consumers in the post-pandemic world, Pros are looking for capabilities that deliver more flexibility, more frequently. Research has shown that Pros’ top priorities are finding the right product, having it available to them at the right place via flexible delivery options, at the time when it’s needed.

PPG calls this value proposition “right product, right place, right time” and has developed a holistic service offered, called “PPG ProFirst,” that hinges on digital capabilities to deliver on this value proposition. A main component of this strategy is the PPG Paints App – a mobile app which PPG launched nationwide at the end of October.

Data Points for Digital

Like all of us, Pros’ sentiment towards utilizing digital platforms has significantly shifted in recent years. In fact, per research reported in the Cleveland Research Company (CRC) 2022 Annual Pro shopper survey, Pros today significantly prefer transacting online more so than they did three years ago, and when purchasing supplies and materials for work projects, 45% of Pros who shop with The Home Depot, reported that they now buy more online compared to three years ago as well. The same research reports that in addition to a preference shift towards buying online, Pros’ preferences have also moved towards delivery to jobsite vs. picking up at a brick-and-mortar location, and Pros now place more value on specialized delivery options – like delivering to a specific location within a jobsite – than they have in the past. And while preferences may have shifted towards online ordering and delivery, some things still remain the same. Brands and price remain the most important factor in product purchase decisions for Pros, with price and product line up still most heavily influencing which retailer they choose to shop.

To address these evolving preferences of the Pro, while still delivering on the product quality that Pros have come to expect from more than 135 years of industry experience, PPG has developed the PPG Paints App—the store that never sleeps—where Pros can place orders anytime, anywhere, 24/7.

The PPG Paints App makes it easier than ever for customers to order on the go, even allowing Pros to access their pricing and purchase history, search paint colors, find a store, and more. The app lets Pro customers quickly re-order paint from their purchase history, giving them more time to focus on other parts of their business. Even better, with no paper trail needed for order history, it eliminates the need for time spent on administrative tasks. Additionally, the App caters to Pro’s pricing and product preferences by offering job-specific pricing structures and search-enabled holistic view of PPG’s lineup of Pro products – all from a mobile device or web browser. Of course, the app also offers Pros the option to choose from jobsite delivery or in-store pickup—ensuring the right product is available to them, at the right place, at the right time.

Best Practices for Driving Usage

The traditional process of Pros selecting and purchasing products was complex and required Pros visiting local stores, selecting products in person and connecting with sales representatives in real time to arrange for the payment, pickup and/or delivery of products. The new PPG digital platform takes the pain out of this process, offering 24/7 availability; mobile and desktop-based accessibility; and a help desk that offers in-app and online support. Because of this, we’ve seen an extremely positive response from Pros who have adopted the technology so far.

The paint industry is on the verge of a digital evolution—PPG is modernizing the decades-old, traditional brick-and-mortar paint industry through a unique paint and service offering.PPG ProFirst includes digitally-enabled fulfillment centers and an updated post-Covid delivery model – all available to their workforce and customer-base through a few taps of their phones.

About the Author

Akos Kosher Nagy is the head of digital transformation for PPG’s architectural coatings business in the U.S. and Canada, which manufactures well-known brands like PPG Paint, Glidden paint, Liquid Nails Adhesives and Homax specialty products. He was appointed to this position in Jan. 2020. He joined PPG in 2014 as an IT Manager. Kosher earned both a bachelor’s degree in computer software engineering and a master’s degree in engineering/industrial management from Robert Morris University.

PPG’s architectural coatings business in the U.S. and Canada is an industry leader in residential and commercial coatings, delivering the latest technologies and operational advancements through its strong portfolio of brands. It manufactures and sells interior and exterior paints, stains, caulks, repair products, adhesives and sealants for homeowners and professionals. Its distribution network includes more than 15,000 touchpoints through company-owned stores, independent dealer locations and major home improvement centers across the U.S. and Canada.