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BizReport : Advertising : June 23, 2017

Top 3 tips for furniture brands to incorporate AR/VR

Furnishings merchants are beginning to look into how augmented and virtual reality can boost their business. roOomy, for example, is working to provide a scalable virtual staging solution for furnishings suppliers including Wayfair, Design Within Reach, Havertys and BuildDirect. RoOomy's CEO offers three tips for implementing a strong strategy.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Looking ahead, are there any speed bumps in implementing AR/VR that merchants should prep for?

Pieter Aarts, CEO and Co-Founder, roOomy: One of the biggest challenges is the mainstream adoption of VR headsets for the everyday shopper. Marketing efforts for VR tools are ramping up, but despite this, many consumers are still hesitant to make this investment due to the costly nature. AR, on the other hand, allows consumers to use mobile and smartphone devices to overlay furnishing items on to real environments, which is vastly more convenient, but similar to VR, educating the broader market about AR potential and use cases can be challenging. With both VR and AR, consumers are having difficulty seeing the application of each technology in their daily lives. Retailers must also figure out the balance between providing AR/VR services in-store, at-home or through a combination of both.

Kristina: For brands looking to jump in, what are your top three tips to developing an AR/VR strategy?

Pieter: Integrate AR/VR into your omni-channel customer experience: A strong omni-channel customer strategy is crucial for any retailer today, and VR adds another layer of opportunity for brands to explore. Allowing users to "test" products through this technology provides a hands-on, immersive customer experience that's been lacking for years.
Create value for customers: The implementation of AR/VR tools in the retail environment shouldn't just be a gimmick to get consumers in the store. While this is a benefit, it's important that the technology provides real value to improve the overall customer experience.
Act now: VR is still in the early stages, meaning it's ripe with opportunity. Brands that are able to harness the technology and successfully apply it early on will have a leg up on the competition. Start by identifying portions of your product or service offerings that can be virtualized and build upon those components.

Tags: advertising, ecommerce, roOomy, virtual reality advertising

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