There have been numerous indications of just how perfect a match VR makes with furniture retail. And indeed, seeing a 3D presentation of a personalized 2D floorplan quickly won over the crowd. Today’s big news is Macy’s , who is riding the VR wave with a huge VR headset rollout in stores around the country.
Macy’s looks to take the lead in VR furniture shopping space. To do this, the company has rightly recognized Marxent’s 3D Room Designer as a game-changer within the industry. Teaming up, both companies are trying be at the forefront of new retail buying format resting on the ultimate VR personalized experience whereby customers can design the desired room and see it acted out in Virtual Reality. The partnership blossoms into some 70 VR installations, with another 20 expected to roll out by end of the year.
What the partnership means to customers is clear. They will utilize the Marxent’s patented Photo to Floorplantm feature to set up a 2D model of their living space, and see what it would look like in real-time (Virtual) Reality with a new piece of furniture added. It is the visualization made more visual, and a lot more personalized too. We are having a hard time imagining the technology not making it into all the furniture retail stores. It is that intuitive as far as business goes, and Macy’s pulled a good one.
Stanley G. Weinbaum is a well-known science fiction writer from 1930’s told us about this technology in his short story named Pygmalion’s Spectacles. His work made him a true visionary in the field of Virtual Reality. The story shares the idea that the wearer of the goggles can experience fictional worlds, even before the official term was coined.
Virtual Reality is a win-win situation for both the customers and the retailer. ‘VR is a practical application proven to drive sales and a terrific example of combining technology and the human touch’, says no less than the company president Hai Lawton. And he has the numbers to back him up. Namely, since the pilot rollout in three stores, compared to regular, the VR-induced sales have risen for a whopping 60%. The difference is acute with the returns too, which now account for less than 2%. The word ‘practical’ comes up, too, when we consider the drastic reduction of space that VR furniture shopping allows for.
The Macy’s VR furniture shopping experience is entirely dependent on Marxent’s new version of 3D Room Designer. The company’s, turns out, industry-defining idea adds one on the customer favorite shopping from photos. It leaves little to the imagination and as a result increases the sale conversion rate by a mile.
That’s not the end of novelties with Macy’s however. The additional feature called See Your Space IRL lets customers place AR furniture models inside their living spaces. The feature is available on iOS as part of Macy’s app for iPhone 7 or newer. Coupled with nearly a hundred VR installations, the Macy’s commerce experience seems complete.
Virtual Reality Travel Is Exploding. Who hasn’t wanted to walk down the streets of Venice, or escape to a tropical climate during a particularly rough winter? Some with a travel bug may find that they can partially feed their need for travel through virtual reality. In the fall of 2015, Marriott boasted about its ability to transport clients from London to Maui in 90 seconds, thanks to Oculus. The concept behind the campaign was that people would be inspired to travel, and book with a Marriott hotel. Since then, Hilton, Renaissance, and many others have followed suit.
‘Macy’s is constantly looking for ways to bring excitement and fresh experiences to our customers’. VR furniture shopping is no news really. It is the scale at which Macy’s decides to operate that counts here. Seeing the pilot project work, no doubt other furniture retailers, IKEA being a prime example , will follow the lead.