Ashley HomeStores puts 3D products to work for furniture shoppers, both in-store and at home
Ashley Furniture Industries, North America’s largest furniture retailer, recently announced two powerful 3D product experiences: The Ashley 360 in-store Virtual Reality furniture showroom, and the Ashley HomeStore iPhone app with Markerless Augmented Reality. Powered by Marxent’s 3D Furniture Cloud™, Ashley 360 combines a robust iPad design app for space planning and scene configuration with photo-realistic 3D content with a 360-degree HTC Vive viewing experience, while the HomeStore iPhone app lets shoppers preview that same 3D content in their own home using Markerless Augmented Reality. Both implementations make it possible for customers to preview merchandise in a custom footprint (either real or virtual) before they buy.
Using 3D Virtual Reality to shop for furniture
Ashley 360 makes it easy for shoppers to find the ideal furniture to fit both their budget and their living space. An Ashley Retail Sales Associate (RSA) helps guide each customer through the process, working with them to create a true-to-life representation of their home, and then fill it with amazing 3D products that look real and fit exactly like they will in the real world. Items can be swapped on the fly, even as the shopper takes an up-close look at their hand-selected items while wearing an HTC Vive VR headset.
How Ashley 360 works:
- Upon entering an Ashley Furniture Homestore, the customer is greeted by an RSA who will help narrow down what products they are interested in.
- After browsing floor models, the customer and RSA make their way to the Ashley 360 area on the showroom floor.
- The RSA works with the customer to draw a virtual space using the Ashley 360 iPad design app. The most accurate results are achieved when actual room dimensions are available, as they can be plugged into the app — along with windows, doorways, wall colors and flooring — to create a true-to-life representation of the customer’s home.
- Once the space is created, the RSA and shopper select 3D models of Ashley products, mixing and matching couches, love seats, tables and more.
- The design phase now complete, the customer wears an HTC Vive VR headset networked to the iPad app and moves around the virtual space they just designed. The shopper then works with the RSA to evaluate their initial choices, and can request changes or swap out whole pieces of furniture on the fly while still in the VR experience.
Ashley 360 features
Ashley 360 is powered by 3D Furniture Cloud™ platform, which provides a dynamic and personalized experience for each customer. How personalized? The iPad design experience makes recreating the customer’s living space a breeze, while the products viewed in VR will look and fit the same way they do in real life. The “see it before you buy it” aspect of Ashley 360 builds buyer confidence, which in turn helps eliminate buyer’s remorse — and the merchandise returns that comes with it.
- Full-featured iPad application makes it simple to create realistic rooms and spaces.
- Thousands of products available at your fingertips.
- Crazy customizable! Swap out spaces, colors, furniture, finishes and more.
- Gorgeous 3D products look as good as their real-life counterparts.
- VR visualization helps ensure furniture will fit in real-world spaces.
Using Augmented Reality to shop for furniture
The Ashley HomeStore iPhone app uses Augmented Reality to allow customers to preview a wide selection of Ashley Furniture products in their own home. Using the exact same 3D products that power Ashley 360 — the flexibility of the VisualCommerce content management system making it easy to share 3D product models across a wide range of implementations — the HomeStore app helps customer address concerns about whether items will fit in their space, or how new furniture will match with the existing pieces already decorating the room.
How the Ashley HomeStore iPhone app works:
- Users download the Ashley HomeStore app from the iTunes App Store.
- Once installed, the app is used to browse the full range of Ashley Furniture products — couches, love seats, tables, bedroom sets, accessories and more.
- To preview a specific item in AR, the user touches the “View it in your home” button, which launches an View In Room AR visualization window and draws the item into the scene.
- Users can manipulate the 3D product, moving it around to get an idea of whether it will fit the space and match the existing decor.
- An additional 3D mode allows the user to focus extensively on the selected furniture, viewing it up close and from any angle.
- Once the customer settles on a piece, they can proceed to checkout and purchase directly from the HomeStore app.
Ashley runs on 3D Furniture Cloud™
Ashley 360 and the Ashley HomeStore app are both tools for building buyer confidence and increasing post-sale satisfaction. The incorporation of Virtual Reality and View In Room Augmented Reality visualization demonstrates Ashley’s commitment to meeting their shoppers wherever they are while also providing a leading edge customer experience.
- AR and VR provide a differentiated, emotional and exciting customer experience.
- Allows customer to see what furniture will look like in their home before they buy.
- Reduces friction in the buying process by building confidence in purchases — i.e., the customer knows a piece will fit before it’s even delivered.
- Gives customers a new way to work collaboratively and personalize their furniture shopping experience.
- Encourages the purchase of additional pieces that compliment item customer was originally interested in.
Where to see Ashley 360 and the Ashley HomeStore app
The Ashley Homestore iPhone app is now available for download from the iTunes store. The Ashley 360 in-store VR showroom is currently available in Tampa, Florida, and will begin rolling out to additional Ashley Furniture Homestores in fall of 2017.
What is 3D Furniture Cloud™?
3D Furniture Cloud™ is the award-winning cloud-based content management system and suite of Augmented and Virtual Reality solutions for manufacturers, retailers and homebuilders. A proven solution designed to bring the power and persuasion of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to everything from shopping for a home to furnishing a home, 3D Furniture Cloud™ AR and VR experiences scale to the enterprise, build buyer confidence and deliver sales.
Talk to the Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality experts
To learn more about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applications for sales and marketing, contact us at any time. Email Beck Besecker or call 727-851-9522.
More VR and AR resources
The Augmented Reality landscape is constantly changing and there is much to learn. Here is a supplemental list of resources for you to enjoy and share.