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  • Writer's pictureMarvin XR

Ultimate Growth Strategy of Retail Furniture in 2024

Updated: May 16

Last updated on May 16th, 2024

Ultimate growth strategy for furniture retail industry
WebAR for furniture industry

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the past decade has been a whirlwind of transformative advancements that have reshaped every facet of our lives. The number of devices owned by the average consumer has exploded.
Today, smartphones have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. They have seamlessly integrated into our routines, serving as our phone, alarm clock, music player, social media hub, and a gateway to our favorite apps. Our entire world encapsulated within a single device that fits snugly in our pocket.

According to Statista, the number of smartphone users today surpasses six billion and is forecast to grow further by several hundred million in the next few years.

More than 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. According to CNBC, 72% of internet users will access the web solely via smartphones by 2025. With these numbers in mind, it becomes clear that focusing on mobile can be a significant competitive advantage.

However, today when we talk about mobile devices, we are not just talking about responsive web design and mobile apps. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to utilize the power that these devices hold.

AR and Smartphone - The Golden Combination

Augmented Reality is a term that was born in 90s but the technological concept was invoked around 50s. It is a fact that AR has most of its advancements in the last decade though.

AR and VR was mostly popular among gamers and young social media users even a few years ago. Data and statistics are showing that they are getting into mainstream. Latest Statista report is forecasting the heavy growth of AR usage worldwide.
More people are using AR from smartphone everyday
AR mobile active user growth world wide

Statista 2023: Number of mobile AR active user devices worldwide from 2019 to 2024 (in billions)

The proliferation of powerful smartphones equipped with augmented reality capabilities will make this technology an inevitable part of the buying process. As reported by AR Insider, it’s estimated that there are 3.1 billion devices with web AR compatibility.

With all this information in perspective, we can definitely say that AR's future is quite exciting. Tech companies are experimenting with other means of introducing augmented reality experiences, but for now, when we talk about AR, businesses are focused on leveraging the potential of smartphones to help them enhance the shopping experience.

How AR can change furniture shopping experience?

The e-commerce boom catalyzed by the pandemic has forced furniture businesses to prioritize engaging online shopping experiences. Some of the biggest furniture players have already introduced AR solutions, allowing customers to insert virtual objects, such as sofas, tables, and chairs, into their homes and immediately see how the piece of furniture would look.

Technology has played the leading role in the retail transformation, and the progress we've seen so far is just a short trailer for what we are about to see in the future.
Here are the three main advantages of using AR in furniture:

  1. Try before you buy - AR enhances physical objects with digital content, so customers can see how a new sofa would look in their apartment in real time and without any risk that they are paying for something that doesn't fit. The possibility to "try before you buy" is very important, especially for big-ticket items. This way, customers can virtually try out furniture, not worrying about bad decisions, which removes a huge weight from their shoulders before the big purchase.

  2. Product customization - Users can visualize and modify the size, color, and placement of the furniture prior to purchasing. This way, furniture companies can help cut down on the anxiety customers face while shopping for furniture, giving them a plethora of choices to test and allowing them to buy the perfect item with one click. Data shows that 77% of shoppers want to use augmented reality to see product differences, such as a change in color or style.

  3. In-store engagement - According to Bussiness of Apps, two-thirds of shoppers are now using their mobile devices in-store to make informed decisions. Adding QR codes to your sales collateral in-store allows customers to scan the code and see all available colors and options. And better yet, customers can take the brochure home to scan the QR code and see how a piece of furniture fits in their space. If you’re looking for ways to keep customers engaged even after they leave the store — AR is the perfect solution.

Now the big question: Are we there yet, or is it still too early for AR furniture experiences?
According to Deloitte, furniture is in the sweet spot for augmented shopping capabilities because it has product sets that are highly standardized with high opportunities for customization. As a result, it has a positive ROI and potential for widespread adoption.

Furniture industry is the forerunner in adopting WebAR
Domain specific success rate

Mobile app vs. Web AR

The furniture industry is not as conservative and rigid as we used to think. The tech-savvy direct-to-consumer brands and retailers are continually experimenting with new forms of engagement, both online and in-store, to deliver compelling customer experiences.

Despite all this, user experience and low adoption rates are still the main hurdles that companies need to figure out before AR goes mainstream. When choosing the right technology for your business, the general rule of thumb is that you should focus on technology with tangible ROI and a high adoption rate.

Businesses eager to adopt AR need to choose between WebAR and mobile applications. But to make a decision, you have to understand the difference and the pros and cons that go with each option.

The difference: App-based AR solutions require users to download your application before they can experience augmented reality. On the other hand, web-native AR allows customers to place 3D models of selected products in the real world without downloading a mobile app.

Business should put focus on what works and what not
Pros and Cons of mobile AR apps vs WebAR

Downloading an app just to visualize a piece of furniture, which is not a frequent purchase, asks for too much effort from the customers’ side, and customers always prefer effortless options. With web-native AR, customers get instant access, and retailers, on the other hand, get a high adoption rate, a broader audience, and low development costs.

Furniture Businesses are betting on WebAR

Customers can go through gamification choice process
3D Configurator can enhance product display
The furniture buyer’s journey has evolved. Furniture retailers that want to future-proof their businesses have to prioritize engaging digital experiences.

Augmented reality is rapidly becoming the furniture industry standard. As soon as customers experience the convenience of using AR for online shopping, there’s no going back.

According to AR Insider, customers that engage with AR spend 5 minutes or more on the AR experience and likely to convert 2x more than customers that don't engage with AR.

Web AR is the most go to strategy for furniture industry

Making it easy for customers to use AR with no app needed will positively influence the adoption of augmented reality. Retailers will have the tool they need to complement a visit to the showroom, and customers will have the right amount of information to make more informed decisions.

In the future, as we see increased usage of AR in everyday life, the ability to access AR instantly without the need to install an app will become imperative. Tech-savvy players are getting ready for the new era with AR "on the go."

We can expect more AR-powered content to be prevalent in the coming years, putting furniture businesses that invest in AR at the forefront of the next-generation shopping experience.

Are you ready to experience the full potential of web-native AR and convert more customers?


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