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Implementing AR in Your Furniture Store: Practical Tips and Costs

Adopting Augmented Reality (AR) technology can be complex and costly. Costs range from a few thousand dollars to $300,000 with development taking from four months to a year or longer.

Implementing augmented reality in furniture

A key decision is whether to develop the AR app in-house or buy it from companies offering ready-to-use solutions. The costs involved can vary widely depending on the chosen approach.

Building In-House Challenges

  • Building in-house requires specialized skills, including 3D modeling, coding, and software tool knowledge. Companies also need resources for hardware and software needs and to keep up with AR advancements.

  • One major technical challenge is latency. For AR to work well, it needs to process tracking device data and user inputs quickly. Any delay can ruin the user experience, making a poorly implemented AR worse than having none at all.

  • Cross-device compatibility is another issue. You need AR frameworks and SDKs that support a wide range of smartphones and tablets. Additionally, advanced 3D modeling tools are essential for creating lifelike and interactive AR experiences.

  • A strong content management system (CMS) for AR assets is also crucial. It allows you to update product visualizations and interactive elements without disrupting the user experience.

Buying Ready-to-Use Solutions

Buying ready-to-use AR solutions seems simpler. But it also has its own challenges.

  • Ready-made solutions may not fit your specific needs. Customizing them can be expensive and time-consuming.

  • Integrating a purchased AR solution with your existing ecommerce platform can be tricky. It requires scalable solutions that fit into your current website or mobile app. Flexible APIs and a robust backend are necessary to support AR content while maintaining platform stability.

  • Relying on a third-party provider means you're dependent on their support and updates. If they fail to keep up with technology advancements, your AR app might become outdated.

This material is here to help you with practical tips for integrating AR into your furniture store and choosing the best option for your business.


Developing AR from Scratch for Your Furniture Store

If you're thinking about developing AR from scratch, get ready for a big investment in time, resources, and expertise. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Assess your team’s skills

  • Does your current team have the skills for AR development?

  • If not, plan for upskilling or hiring new talent.

2. Impact on departments

  • How will AR development affect each department?

  • Consider changes in sales strategy and customer experience.

3. Buffer time and budget

  •  Include buffer time for application approval processes, like the Apple Store.

  • Budget for testing and revisions.

4. Digital literacy

  • Ensure digital literacy across the company.

  • Every employee should understand the changes AR will bring.

5. Ongoing costs

  • Plan for ongoing maintenance, hosting fees, and updates.

  • Budget for potential changes required by Apple or Google.

6. Communication

  • Internal and external communications will evolve.

  • Document and communicate all creative and technical instructions clearly.

7. Legal considerations

  • Consult legal advisors about AR implications.

  • Document all scope hours and reasons.

  • Implement progress milestones with approval sign-offs.


Outsourcing to a specialized agency is a popular choice. They have experienced teams dedicated to creating custom AR experiences. However, this option is costly. You'll pay for developers, designers, project managers, and more. Marketing managers often appreciate the comprehensive service, but it's crucial to understand the full scope of what you're undertaking.

Expect new steps and processes that add hours, employees, contractors, hosting fees, and data storage. To stabilize and scale your business, plan and forecast carefully. Prepare for a new budget model, new communication processes, upskilling team members, and possibly hiring new IT talent.

By addressing these considerations, you can effectively develop AR for your furniture store and enhance your customer experience.

Developing AR from Scratch for Your Furniture Store

Implementing AR with Ready-to-Use Solutions

If you’re looking for the easiest way to introduce AR into your furniture business, opting for a pre-built, out-of-the-box product offers a simple yet effective solution. These solutions are designed to be intuitive and affordable, catering even to businesses with limited technical expertise.

Today, implementing AR is faster and more accessible than in the past. Consider these principles:

  • Integrate AR directly into your website instead of requiring a separate app. Customers don’t want to download an app just to use AR features. To enjoy the sales boost that AR can offer, eliminate unnecessary hurdles. Make sure AR functionality lives on your website.

  • Use AR furniture placement software. Save time, energy, and money. A few years ago, brands had to build AR functionality from scratch. Today, company like Zolak allow you to visualize furniture with a SaaS model, making the path to try-before-buy more accessible.

  • Optimize AR for smartphones. Maximize the odds that your customers will use AR by creating experiences that work on smartphones. Most people have an iPhone or Android, so make sure your AR features are compatible with these devices.

ARKit and ARCore devices


You get what you pay for. While turnkey solutions allow customers to view 3D product models in their own spaces, be mindful of potential limitations in visual quality and scalability, particularly for larger inventories.

Alternatively, Zolak offers significant advantages:

  • Zolak facilitates seamless expansion of product offerings as your catalog grows, ensuring consistent quality across all configurations.

  • Compared to other companies, Zolak offers competitive subscription plans while maintaining high standards in furniture visualization and implementation.

  • The platform supports extensive product customization—from colors to materials—offering a personalized shopping experience.

  • Zolak integrates smoothly with existing product visuals and workflows across various platforms like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, without requiring additional apps.

Getting started with Zolak is straightforward:

1. Begin with your existing 3D or CAD files, or collaborate with Zolak’s team to create them from photos and materials.

2. Test the solution with a demo before launching it on your website. Zolak provides a CMS account for your company and sets up product demos in pre-designed interiors. Here is an example. (The end solution will be integrated into your retail website, and you can choose where to place it—on the main page, product pages, or elsewhere.)

3. Integrate the solution with your CMS using Zolak's API, syncing products, inventory, and shopping carts.

4. Install the visual module on your website and launch it, allowing users to explore and purchase 3D furniture visualizations directly linked to your products.


Enhance Your Furniture Retail with Next-Gen AR

Customers want AR, and it's easy to see why. Augmented Reality entertains, educates, and helps them evaluate products, promoting online shopping and encouraging category expansion. It’s especially useful for showcasing unique or high-priced items.

The team at Zolak is here to help and make it simple.

With Zolak Showroom integrated on your product pages, customers can effortlessly visualize multiple items from your catalog in their own spaces using lifelike 3D visuals and extensive customization options. Starting with a photo of their room, customers can seamlessly remove existing furniture and place products from your catalog. Whether adjusting furniture arrangements, swapping items, or customizing colors and materials, Zolak empowers customers to envision and personalize their ideal living spaces.

Starting at $232 per month (billed annually at $2,784), Zolak Showroom includes 1,000 room views. Whether you operate in B2C or B2B markets, Zolak facilitates a self-guided shopping experience, enabling informed decision-making through virtual product trials that showcase the quality and appeal of each item.

Contact us today for a consultation or demo to experience Zolak in action.


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