Augmented Reality Could Transform Furniture and Home Decor Retailing
But how will it look in my home? It’s a question heard every day by sales associates in a furniture or home décor store. Thanks to Augmented Reality, they may be able to help give customers a much better idea of how a new sofa or lamp will look in the desired setting.
Furniture and home decor are the product categories that could benefit most from AR planning and designing applications, according to a recent report from research firm ResearchAndMarkets.
A good example is Magnolia Market, a US home décor retailer, which uses AR to let shoppers see what Magnolia’s products would look like in their own homes using a smartphone app. This ability to visualize products in your own home ultimately leads to a more informed buying experience.
3D models of selected Magnolia Market products were created in-house to capture as much detail and realism as possible and enable shoppers to see a product from every angle. Using the AR app, the modeled products can then be placed virtually in the desired setting in the consumer’s own home.
While the first step on the buying journey for most consumers will still be a visit to the local furniture store to browse and touch products, AR provides a powerful additional capability that complements the traditional store visit.
AR behind the scenes
As well as planning and designing applications for consumers, ResearchandMarkets sees AR playing a key role behind the scenes in retail, with “smart glasses” expected to be used on a large scale for workforce and sales management purposes.
Amazon, meanwhile, recently filed a patent to use AR in a warehouse putaway application.
The patent describes a “wearable computing device” that would overlay turn-by-turn directions on the goggles’ screen, showing employees where to put away certain objects in one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
In addition to giving turn-by-turn directions, the glasses may also display specific instructions for workers.
According to ResearchAndMarkets, the augmented reality in retail market is estimated to be worth $1.16bn this year and is projected to grow to 7.95bn by 2023, at an impressive common annual growth rate of 47 percent.
The factors driving that grow are rising smartphone penetration, and growing adoption of connected devices. However, the research firm cautions that lack of compatibility, interoperability, privacy, and security concerns associated with the use of AR could restrain the growth of the AR in retail market.