How to Harness the Power of AR to Put Your Furniture Into Customers’ Hands
Imagine letting your customers shop for your furniture from anywhere. Not just looking through a digital catalog or reading reviews, but actually trying out different pieces in their own home.
Brands like IKEA and Wayfair are already building furniture AR experiences to let customers try out products at home. Other competing companies are close behind.
There’s a reason augmented reality is becoming a popular addition to brands’ marketing strategies. AR presents an incredible opportunity for furniture companies to place their furniture directly into their customers’ homes from anywhere.
AR is Accessible, Affordable, and Within Your Reach
Just a few years ago, AR seemed like a quick-moving fad available only to people willing to buy special glasses. But today, AR is more accessible than ever for both businesses and consumers.
Thanks to Apple’s ARKit and the new USDZ file format, augmented reality is literally just a click away. Users with iOS devices can download these AR files and immediately view them in real time, no app required.
Both Apple and Google have released AR toolkits, though Google’s ARCore (which runs on Android devices) doesn’t support USDZ files. Yet.
There’s a built-in market for AR in the US:
– The majority of Americans own a smartphone in 2019
– Apple estimates that 200 million iPhones right now can run ARKit
– Google says at least 100 million Android devices can run ARCore
What does this mean for companies looking to venture into AR?
Bringing augmented reality to your business isn’t overwhelming or expensive anymore. You don’t need to invest in an app or hope your audience has expensive hardware.
Companies can add AR furniture to their digital product catalogs without much extra work at all. It’s an incredible opportunity that lets you quite literally put your furniture into buyers’ homes before they make a purchase.
Do Shoppers Really Want to Use AR?
So, AR isn’t out of reach for either shoppers or companies. It’s both accessible and affordable and doesn’t require any development or infrastructure.
But do shoppers actually want to use it?
Overwhelmingly, the answer is yes. Multiple studies on AR found that customers prefer buying from a company that offers it. Not only that, but those same people are more likely to make a purchase after seeing a product in AR.
– Nearly half of consumers would shop more at a retailer that uses AR (Digital Commerce Survey).
– A third of consumers are more likely to buy something after using mixed/AR to preview products (Digital Bridge Study on AR in Retail).
– Nearly 50% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it through AR (Retail Perceptions Report).
The bottom line is – people want AR, they expect AR, and are willing to go out of their way to shop with brands that offer AR.
And brands are catching on, but not as fast as people would like. Even though the majority of people expect brands to offer AR, only about a third of retail companies currently do.
People want AR not because it’s a cool fad. Augmented reality brings genuine value to customers’ lives by making it even easier to try products before buying. This is especially true for larger products — making furniture AR a smart option.
Bridging the Imagination Gap
Some people have a hard time imagining what physical objects look like in different spaces. Being unable to visualize products – like a couch or armchair – can delay or even end the buying process.
This “imagination gap” presents serious challenges to both buyers and furniture companies especially if you sell furniture exclusively online.
But Augmented Reality is a bridge between the digital and physical world. You can build digital models of your products and bring them into the real world. Those 3D models perfectly represent your real furniture, taking out the guesswork for your customers.
Bringing Personalized Experiences to Homes, Offices, and Beyond
Buyers today want a more personalized shopping experience. This desire spans retail industries from travel and leisure to automotive and grocery shopping. But with more people turning toward online shopping, delivering that personal experience is increasingly hard.
Buyers are looking for furniture that fits their style, their space, and their budget. And what could be more personal than bringing a new couch or desk into your workspace and moving it around yourself?
AR not only delivers on that promise – a personalized experience – but also makes it easier for customers to vet products before buying.
Try Before You Buy with AR
If you purchase furniture online – say a chair – you have to wait for it to ship, bring it into your home, move it around, and hope the color is true to the website. If you don’t like it, you have to reverse that whole process and try again.
With AR, on the other hand, you have all the benefits of trying out a product at home without any of the heavy lifting.
Being able to try before you buy is great for customers, but it’s also great for companies.
Besides increased sales, companies could see reduced product returns. If customers can see a perfectly scaled, detailed, realistic 3D model in their room, there likely won’t be any surprises when they bring the real thing home. They can immediately decide whether it’s a good fit using AR furniture, without all the shipping and waiting.
Put Your Furniture into Customers’ Homes with AR
If you haven’t considered adding AR furniture to your visual offerings, start thinking about it. AR brings customers further into the buyer journey. It takes them from learning about a product to actually interacting with it, often in their own home or office.
Diving into AR is easier than it may seem. After building precise 3D models of your furniture, it’s easy to convert them to USDZ files.
Customers can download the files from your website and immediately see your product in real life, in real time.
It’s time to see what augmented reality can do for you.