Amazon Expands Augmented Reality Shopping Options

The new Room Decorator feature lets users place multiple items in thier home.

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Need to Know

  • The new tool, Room Decorator, will let users see house decor and housewares in their own homes.
  • Room Decorator allows users to place multiple objects into a room at the same time, or add items to photos of a room saved to their mobile device when they’re away from home.
  • Amazon has made the tool available for both products it offers and products offered by third-party sellers.
  • The feature launches today in 50% of Amazon’s iOS instal base in the U.S.

Analysis

Amazon is expanding its AR capacities in the U.S., launching a new tool, Room Decorator, that allows users to visualize how new home furnishings might look in their homes.

Room Decorator, which is now live in 50% of Amazon’s iOS instal base in the U.S., allows users to place furniture and decor available on Amazon inside their homes. Images of the items are scaled to fit and in high-definition, making it easy for users to get a good sense of how they might look in real life. Additionally, Room Decorator allows users to place more than one item in the same room, which benefits both the user and Amazon: users can get a more complete view of how a redecorated room might look, and Amazon increases its chances of selling multiple items at once. This also differentiated Room Decorator from AR View, launched in 2017, which allowed users to place just a single item into a room in their home.

Room Decorator also allows users to save a snapshot of a room in order to visualize prospective new items while shopping away from home on a mobile device. And if customers are not yet committed to making a purchase, they can save an image of their room, furnished with potential purchases from Amazon, to their Amazon account for later use.

“Amazon is always exploring new ways to create experiences that delight our customers. With the addition of Room Decorator tools, Amazon enhances its augmented reality feature to give customers an even more immersive shopping experience from the comfort of their own home, or on the go,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “With access to the inspiring furniture styles available on Amazon, customers can do more than just imagine their dream rooms — they can visualize them to make more informed shopping decisions”

With Room Decorator, Amazon joins a growing cadre of furniture retailers who are using augmented reality to improve their digital shopping experience in order to encourage a higher rate of conversions. And it’s already been beaten to the punch with multi-object placement: IKEA launched that capability late last year, as part of a massive update to its AR capabilities that also included “Room Sets”, which is the ability to place entire collections of IKEA furniture into one room at the same time. IKEA also offers a tool called “For You Feed”, which curates a selection of products a customer may like based on their browsing history, which the customer can then view in AR, and visual search, which allows a customer to point their smartphone camera at a piece of furniture they like, which will then be matched with a similar-looking piece from IKEA.

Online home-furnishings retailer Wayfair, too, has been experimenting with AR. That company launched augmented reality tools for mobile app users in 2018. Like Amazon’s tool, the Wayfair AR feature lets users place items in a room at full scale, and anchors them to the floor, which allows users to see how they would look in real life at any angle.

Shopify has also dipped its toe into AR: beginning in March of this year, it offered merchants the option to upload 3D images, allowing prospective buyers to interact with a product at 360 degrees. This opens up the possibility for augmented reality integrations with Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit, the AR platforms available via Android and iOS, respectively. ARCore and ARKit are leveraged by both Wayfair and IKEA; Amazon’s Room Decorator is currently only available via iOS.

Amazon plans to make Room Decorator available to 100% of its iOS instals in the coming weeks.

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