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The role of augmented reality in online furniture shopping

Last updated :
March 10, 2024

minutes read

Augmented Reality: The Future of Online Furniture Shopping

In a world where the physical and digital blur into each other, imagine revamping your home décor without leaving your comfy couch or risking a mismatched setup. Welcome to the game-changing world of Augmented Reality in Online Furniture Shopping.

The AR Revolution

Augmented Reality, or AR, has been creating waves across sectors, and the furniture industry is no exception. It blends computer-generated images with a user's real-world surroundings, providing an immersive shopping experience that was once confined to sci-fi movies.

The concept isn't entirely novel. Remember Pokémon Go? The popular game where you could catch virtual creatures in real-life locations? AR technology is quite similar, but instead of catching a Pikachu in your kitchen, you're placing a sleek, modern dining table there.

Why Augmented Reality?

Before we get into the crux of why AR is transforming furniture shopping, let's tackle a common issue every online shopper faces: the fear of buying something that doesn't look right. This is especially true for furniture shopping, where size, style, and colour are critical.

In the traditional online shopping model, you browse through images, take your best guess at what will look good, and then pray your chosen item fits and matches your décor. AR is looking to put an end to this gamble.

With AR technology, you can project the selected piece of furniture into your living room, bedroom, or office, all via your smartphone or tablet. This "try before you buy" feature allows you to see if that chestnut leather sofa goes with your teal curtains or if that king-size bed is just a smidge too big for your bedroom.

AR and the Young Indian Shopper

Indian consumers, especially the younger lot, are fast catching up with this trend. They are tech-savvy, adaptable to new technologies, and most importantly, hungry for convenience.

The National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) reports that India's AR and VR market is expected to grow at a whopping 76% CAGR between 2021 and 2025. A large chunk of this growth is fuelled by the demand in retail sectors like furniture.

With city living spaces shrinking, it's vital to make every square foot count. Young Indians living in metros and burgeoning cities prefer furniture that is compact, multi-functional, and stylish. The opportunity to virtually arrange and rearrange furniture pieces within their space is an appealing prospect.

AR Adoption by Online Furniture Stores

Online furniture giants like Pepperfry and Urban Ladder, along with international players like IKEA, are already harnessing AR's potential. They offer AR-powered apps that let shoppers virtually place furniture items in their homes, making the shopping experience interactive and personalised.

The technology has not just improved customer experience but also significantly reduced return rates. Furniture returns due to size mismatches or style differences have always been a costly affair for both sellers and buyers. AR's ability to minimise this risk is a win-win situation.

Challenges and the Way Forward

Despite its promising potential, AR's adoption isn't without hurdles. The technology requires high-speed internet and advanced devices, something not all consumers have access to. Additionally, developing an AR platform is a costly affair, often deterring smaller retailers.

However, with rapid digitalisation and increasing smartphone penetration, these barriers are gradually diminishing. As technology becomes more accessible and affordable, we can expect more widespread adoption of AR in online furniture shopping.

In conclusion, AR is not just a cool tech feature; it's transforming the online furniture shopping experience, making it more enjoyable, efficient, and hassle-free. It's not just about buying furniture anymore; it's about creating the perfect home.

Did this article pique your interest in the potential of Augmented Reality in online furniture shopping? If so, don't keep this to yourself. Share it with your friends and let them in on the future of shopping. It's virtual, it's real, and it's here.

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