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Augmented Reality for Furniture Industry: Make Your Customers Go Wow


Vector (Stroke)

50-second summary

  • Augmented Reality for Furniture Industry: AR turns your online store into an immersive playground. Customers get to see, experience, and fall in love with your furniture in their space – all before they click "purchase."
  • Will it be WebAR or AppAR? Both offer unique advantages. WebAR offers accessibility without app downloads, while AppAR can provide a richer, more immersive experience. Pick the route that aligns with your store's vision.
  • Marker or Markerless? Marker-based AR relies on visual cues like QR codes, while markerless AR seamlessly integrates virtual objects into real environments.
  • AR's Business Boost: AR isn't just about visuals; it's about business sense. According to estimates, AR can lead to significant cost savings and fewer returns. Your customers can make more informed decisions, reducing the likelihood of disappointment.
  • Design Your Space, Virtually: AR empowers your shoppers to become designers. They can experiment with styles, colors, and layouts within their own surroundings. It's a unique opportunity to visualize their vision before committing.
  • Classic Examples: Leading companies like IKEA, Amazon, and Wayfair are using AR to provide customers with immersive experiences and redefine the way furniture is explored and purchased.
  • Next-gen AR Examples: IKEA Kreativ and Zolak. IKEA offers virtual room design for customers, while Zolak enables high-level personalization through AR and neural networks for online furniture retailers, enhancing visualization and customization

See how Zolak can help you power-up online furniture store for growth and revenue.

Despite the popularity of augmented reality in the furniture industry (where it reigns supreme as the leading AR category), many business people still lack knowledge or have reservations about implementing such technology.

As an AI-powered visual commerce company, we provide insights into augmented reality, its significance in the furniture industry, the advantages it offers to businesses, and other critical aspects. By the end of this article, retailers will have a better understanding of how AR furniture can help them improve the customer experience, increase sales, and stay ahead of the competition in the furnishing market.


Augmented Reality in the Furniture Industry: What Is It?

Augmented reality is a technology that blends digital content (such as images, videos, or 3D models) with the real world, thereby allowing users to see virtual objects in the real environment. Typically, this is achieved by using camera-equipped devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or headset.

With the rise of e-commerce, many people are now accustomed to browsing and purchasing products online, but there has always been a challenge in visualizing how a particular piece of furniture will look in a real space.

By incorporating augmented reality experiences into online shopping platforms, customers can now enjoy a more immersive and interactive way of shopping for furniture. They can use their smartphones or tablets to access augmented reality apps or websites that offer a vast selection of items.

Customers can select a particular item like a sofa or table and virtually position it in their preferred room. The tool will create a lifelike 3D model of the item and overlay it onto the live camera view of the customer's space. This helps them see how the furniture will appear and fit in their home before making a purchase.


WebAR vs. AppAR

Regarding implementing augmented reality in the furniture industry, there are two main approaches:

  1. WebAR is an augmented reality experience that can be accessed through a web browser. This means that users don't need to download a separate application to access the AR feature. WebAR is convenient for customers as they can easily access it through a website, and it also eliminates the need for retailers to invest in a separate app.

  2. AppAR, on the other hand, requires customers to download and install a dedicated app to access the augmented reality feature. The use of an app allows for the integration of more complex functionalities. In addition, animations, interactivity, graphics quality, and the performance itself would be better. However, this approach also involves creating and updating a dedicated app, which can be costly. Plus, customers may not be willing to download yet another app so adoption rates may be lower.

Both WebAR and AppAR have their own advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on what you want to achieve as a retailer.


WebAR vs AppAR


How Does AR Technology Work?

There are two common types of augmented reality when it comes to placing furniture:

Marker-based AR uses a physical marker (like a QR code) that customers can place on the floor where they intend to place their chosen item. Then, they scan the marker using their smartphone or tablet, the app overlays the selected item onto the marker. This approach is highly effective for offering additional information about your product or providing assembly instructions.

Marker-based AR for furniture

Markerless AR doesn't require a physical marker. Instead, it uses the actual properties of the surrounding environment to place virtual 3D objects in the real world. This means that users can place a digital sofa in their living room making it appear as though it's really there.

For instance, the application used for arranging furniture in a room autonomously assesses different factors like room dimensions, the presence of existing items, wall and floor layouts, and other relevant aspects. Once the evaluation is complete, the algorithms precisely determine how and where a new item can seamlessly fit into the space.

Markerless AR allows for more freedom and flexibility regarding the objects and surfaces that can be tracked but may be less accurate and stable in complex or dynamic environments.

Markerless AR for furniture


What Is the Advantage of Augmented Reality in the Furniture Industry?

I know what you're thinking. "Why should I care about augmented reality in furniture? It all sounds complicated and expensive." Well, here are four main advantages of why AR furniture apps are essential for your industry.

  • Cost Savings. According to Goldman Sachs estimates, the use of AR in the furniture industry is expected to result in cost savings of over $1.6 billion by 2025.

Cost savings with augmented reality in the furniture industry

  • Reduced Returns. A research from Magna’s Media Trials unit found that 64% of consumers would be less likely to return a product if they could visualize it in AR before making the purchase.
  • Increased Sales. According to a study by Retail Perceptions, 40% of customers would be willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it through AR.
  • Improved Customer Experience. According to a survey conducted by Unity Technologies, 63% of customers prefer to shop from retailers that offer AR experiences, and 35% are willing to spend more money on products when they can visualize them in AR.

John Riccitiello about augmented reality for furniture

So, there you have it, as an online retailer, embracing the concept of an AR furniture store can revolutionize your business.

AR Shopping is no longer a thing of the future. It's here, and it's making waves. 

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You can increase the average order value with Zolak Virtual Showroom
A survey by Accenture found that 47% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product if they can experience it through augmented ot virtual reality.


Benefits of Augmented Reality in the Furniture Industry

If you want to achieve the results we discussed above - the ones that'll save you money, reduce returns, increase sales, and improve customer experience - then it's time to jump on the six ways you can benefit from AR technologies.

1. Augmented Reality for Furniture Placement

One of the most difficult aspects of purchasing anything online is imagining what the product will look like in real life.

While returning a shirt is reasonably simple, returning a dining room table that didn’t fit is a more complex process. As a result, clients frequently have doubts while purchasing products online and find it difficult to make more informed decisions.

Augmented reality allows users to "try out" furniture before they buy. With augmented reality apps, they can see how a dining table set will look in their living room before purchasing. They can rapidly answer the questions: what size this furniture piece is, what color it is, and whether it will harmonize with the other items in the room.

2. Augmented Reality Furniture Showroom

AR technology eliminates the physical limitations of traditional showrooms. Furniture businesses can showcase an extensive catalog of products without worrying about physical space constraints. This expanded range of products can appeal to a wider customer audience, accommodating diverse design preferences. It's especially valuable for individuals who may lack the time, opportunities, or desire to visit brick-and-mortar stores.

3. Engage Customers with AR Furniture Shopping

You can utilize AR furniture models to enhance your customers' experience through your website. By leveraging AR technology, individuals can interact with virtual objects and place them within their real environment.

They can change colors and materials, and experiment with different combinations until they find the perfect match. Not only does this make the decision-making process more enjoyable, but it also unleashes their creative side. Plus, sharing their creations on social media is a win-win situation. They get to show off their design skills, and you get free advertising.

Moreover, AR apps can also showcase items your shoppers might have overlooked or not considered.

zolak's augmented reality furniture shopping

4. Influence Your Customers' Purchase Decisions

Recent marketing research indicates that 40% of shoppers are willing to pay more for a product if they have an AR option available. Furthermore, 72% of shoppers said they ended up buying furniture they hadn't planned on just because they could try it out using an augmented reality app.

The reason for this is simple. Augmented reality takes the guesswork out of online furniture shopping. AR furniture allows shoppers to see photorealistic 3D furniture models in their own rooms. This way, shoppers can ensure that the items they're interested in matches their interior design style and ambiance. With just a few clicks, they can transform their dream room into reality.

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Discover how 3D technology can enhance customer engagement, boost conversions, and provide an immersive shopping experience. Our latest article explores how 3D technology is reshaping the way furniture is presented, perceived, and purchased online.

5. Provide Personalized Experience

According to recent research, 77% of shoppers want to use augmented reality to see product differences, such as a change in color or style.

One of the key benefits of using augmented reality in the furniture industry is the ability to customize products. Customerscan browse the entire catalog, play around with design options, examine the item from different angles, and see if it fits in their room. They can also customize the product in terms of colors and textures and instantly visualize how it works with their interior. This level of personalization is simply incomparable to both traditional offline and online shopping.

6. Stand Out with AR Technology in the Furniture Industry

It might surprise you to learn that despite the apparent advantages of AR and the wow factor it creates, only 1% of retailers use it, and 63% are either adopting the technology or considering it in the next two years. Yes, you read that right.

Most manufacturers and retailers claim they're not yet ready to implement augmented reality in furniture. But here's the thing: companies that do use AR furniture apps get much more attention from the audience and establish a reputation as advanced furniture brands. They integrate AR into their business and get a chance to outshine competitors who use traditional ways of selling products.

What does this mean for you? Not only will you impress your customers, but you'll also stand out among your competitors as a forward-thinking and innovative brand.


Top Examples of Augmented Reality in the Furniture Industry

Classic Examples

  1. IKEA Place. By utilizing mobile device's camera, users can scan their living room or any desired space, and the AR app overlays virtual, true-to-scale 3D models of IKEA products within the real environment. The underlying technology behind IKEA Places involves sophisticated computer vision algorithms and object recognition techniques. The app analyzes the scanned space, identifies various surfaces, and accurately places virtual furniture objects on those surfaces while considering factors like depth, lighting, and perspective.

  2. Amazon offers a remarkable feature that leverages AR for furniture placement, enabling shoppers to envision products in their own space prior to making a purchase. This innovative technology empowers users to virtually adorn their homes with an extensive range of furniture and home improvement items sourced from both Amazon and third-party sellers. In addition to suggesting product combinations, Amazon provides a range of AR features. This expanding set of capabilities is offered by various tech companies and encompasses gaming, design tools, and shopping functionalities.

  3. Wayfair app creates a more realistic and immersive experience for users. The app allows virtual objects to cast shadows and blend into surroundings, making the product appear more lifelike and seamlessly integrated into the user's physical space. The app also supports multiple planes so that users can position objects on surfaces like walls, tables, and ceilings.

  4. With Overstock customers can use the AR experience to take measurements of their room and ensure that the furniture will fit properly. This feature eliminates the need for shoppers to physically measure their space, making the shopping experience more convenient. This is made possible through the integration of computer vision algorithms and depth-sensing capabilities.

Advanced Examples of Next-Gen AR in Furniture

  • IKEA Kreativ allows shoppers to unleash their inner interior designer by creating a virtual 3D replica of their room. Customers can experience the thrill of designing their space and visualize how IKEA furniture and decor will seamlessly integrate into it. Using this app, customers have the freedom to effortlessly move objects around, resize them, and experiment with different layouts.

IKEA Kreativ advanced augmented reality for furniture

  • Another impressive example in furniture shopping with augmented reality is Zolak, a B2B solution for online retailers.

Through the use of mixed reality and neural networks, customers are provided with an opportunity to visualize and customize the placement of furniture in either pre-designed interiors or their own homes.

By leveraging advanced algorithms and object detection techniques, neural networks effortlessly identify the objects and accurtely determine their size, allowing for precise placement within the virtual environment. This empowers shoppers to effortlessly remove, move, replace, and view furniture from various angles, ensuring a seamless integration of their desired furniture pieces within their existing home decor.

We invite you to explore the possibilities that Zolak can offer to enhance your online store.

Request a demo today and discover how our cutting-edge solution can revolutionize the way you engage with your customers, drive sales, and establish your brand as a leader in the industry.


Is augmented reality the same as VR?

No. Virtual Reality (VR) is a fully immersive experience that transports the user to a virtual environment that feels like a completely different world. Users wear a VR headset that blocks out the real world and replaces it with a simulated one. This allows users to interact with the virtual environment and objects within it.

Augmented Reality, on the other hand, overlays virtual objects on top of the real world. It uses a camera and a display, typically on a smartphone or tablet, to project computer-generated images into the real world. This allows users to see and interact with virtual objects in the context of the real world.

What is augmented reality furniture?

Augmented Reality furniture is a revolutionary technology enabling users to view virtual furniture in their homes. AR apps use the device's camera and sensors to create a virtual representation of the room, which can then be used to virtually place computer-generated 3D furniture models and home decor items in the space.

Is augmented reality expensive within the furniture industry?

The cost of implementing AR can vary widely depending on factors such as the complexity of the project, the technology used, and the specific goals and features you aim to achieve. Simple AR applications or prototypes may cost around $15,000, but more ambitious and feature-rich projects can incur significantly higher expenses. Consequently, retailers must carefully consider whether to develop the application in-house or purchase a pre-made technological solution.

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