The furniture industry has truly benefited from the technological leaps made in the 3D and AR world over recent years. Various furniture companies may have different takes on 3D and AR, but there is no denying - 3D and Augmented Reality is becoming an industry standard.
Advancements in 3D visualization for eCommerce purposes finally allow customers to see what they are buying and thus reduce the uncertainty of buying furniture online and significantly reduce returns.
Nowadays creating and showcasing 3D models of furniture on your website is easy and relatively inexpensive. With just a few clicks, your eCommerce customer can see the product from every angle, customize the furniture on the 3D configurator and even see how the item fits in their space through augmented reality.
Let’s take a look at how a couple of successful eCommerce furniture businesses such as Umage, Ikea, Glowbus, and Wayfair use 3D visualization and Augmented Reality to sell furniture online and what are some of the key differences, challenges, and trends within the eCommerce furniture industry.
Umage is a Danish furniture manufacturer that creates functional Scandinavian design furniture. eCommerce being one of their main channels drove Umage to find innovative ways to allow their shoppers to imagine how each of their interior pieces fit together in shoppers' homes. The solution was to add 3D visualization and Augmented Reality to their online store.
Umage uses the Sayduck Platform to showcase furniture in both 3D and WebAR (augmented reality on a website, not requiring any app downloads). They have embedded 3D models from the Sayduck Platform into their website, which allows their shoppers to not only customize Umage's furniture, but to also see it through WebAR in their own homes.
The 3D Viewer gives the customer a detailed picture of what the product looks like. Try it out!
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IKEA has been a forerunner and a trendsetter in the furniture industry. It was only natural that they would start using 3D and Augmented Reality to help alleviate some of the most common furniture shopping headaches - fitting and mixing.
IKEA's solution was to build an app - IKEA Place (iOS only), allowing shoppers to try the most popular IKEA furniture in their own homes through Augmented Reality. Unlike many other solutions, since people shopping at IKEA might often refurbish their whole rooms - they allow you to combine as many of their items to try out via AR at the same time, as you wish.
One of the downsides of IKEA Place is that the sizes are not always correct, since the app's room scanning technology is not fully able to recognize current furniture. IKEA Place also does not have a 3D Viewer or 3D configurations but instead loads every single product in AR as a separate product.
This solution while very easy to use, might not be the most scalable, and not very website friendly, since adding each variation of the product as a new model not only consumes a lot of time but more importantly - will take up a lot of space.
IKEA is often at the forefront of the furniture industry
Glowbus is yet another good example of where 3D and AR technology match perfectly with the furniture industry. Glowbus is a Belgian manufacturer of high-end fireplaces and candle holders. They use WebAR directly on their website to showcase their products. Due to the unique shapes of their fireplaces, using augmented reality allows Glowbus shoppers to understand which fireplace would fit their needs and space the best.
Glowbus is a great example where augmented reality becomes a necessity - since the dimensions of the product might be difficult to comprehend, as well as it is hard to imagine how it sits in intended reality - a problem that augmented reality solves.
Wayfair, one of the world’s largest eCommerce furniture stores, implemented 3D and AR into their app years before the pandemic and has been at the forefront of using new technologies to drive sales in a competitive environment.
Wayfair’s 3D and AR activities are built into their mobile application, similarly to IKEA's, in an effort to turn visitors into shoppers through an eCommerce experience that makes shopping for furniture online easy and fun. The whole purchasing process is within the app and the consumers don't need to jump between apps or websites. The consumer can see the products, see and feel them through 3D and AR in their home, and after that order the products, and follow their delivery within the app.
Wayfair believes in the power of 3D and AR and an immersive experience to drive sales, create brand loyalty, and stand out from its competitors. And that's why it doesn't end here. Wayfair has plans to also implement virtual reality in their app, which will allow an even more immersive experience for their customers.
One key difference between these solutions is the level of intricacy and complexity of the models. For other manufacturers, a simpler 3D model is sufficient to show the size and color of the product in the AR to assist the customer in their buying decision. Other companies require more intricate details and complex entities to truly stand out in the crowd and show the eCommerce audience, what makes their furniture especially good-looking or useful.
Another difference is the platform on which the 3D and AR capabilities are built, whether it is a separate application or WebAR. An app might seem a bit excessive to download to many, though that way the primary website is not affected at all. WebAR is easier for eCommerce consumers to use and if done correctly and with the right platform, it doesn’t slow down the website.
As technology and industries evolve, there are fewer and fewer challenges for companies to take up these new immersive technologies. One challenge many companies still face is the need for 3D models, even though making them or hiring a freelancer to do them is fairly easy.
The answer to these cases is easy when you know where to look. For example, Sayduck offers solutions to help companies create 3D models based on pictures of their products. So a company doesn't need to have 3D models before they start working together with Sayduck.
3D and AR make shopping easier - example by Audionord
In one word? Growth. A very clear trend of the future for 3D and AR usage in the furniture industry is growing. More and more companies are taking on this new technology to drive sales, create a more immersive eCommerce shopping experience, and reduce the need for returns. In many ways, 3D and AR can be seen as the missing piece of the puzzle for Furniture in eCommerce. It is clear now that 3D and Augmented Reality have come to stay.
Want to learn more? Get in touch with our experts to see how 3D and AR can help your business grow! Book a demo here!