The launch of an AR home decorating feature from Amazon could make online furniture shopping more realistic.
Though online shopping has surged during the coronavirus pandemic, it can be hard for consumers to know if what they are purchasing will look just right—especially when it comes to home decor. To help alleviate this issue, Amazon created a “Room Decorator” tool that allows shoppers to virtually style rooms with furniture and accessories available on the platform. Using AR, Amazon’s tool gives customers the chance to visualize where in their home they would place certain items, with shoppers able to save their virtual images to refer back to. While customers can choose which items they would like to view, Amazon will also provide product recommendations within the AR experience to assist shoppers.
Amazon’s Room Decorator works on mobile and desktop devices, with shoppers able to switch between the two when editing a room. Debuting the immersive shopping experience during the Coronavirus pandemic allows Amazon to align its tools with consumer interests according to a Gartner report, such as concerns about not being able to see a product in-person before purchase. The AR tool could also help Amazon become a go-to place for shopping for big-scale home items that customers would typically depend on a brick-and-mortar store for. The Room Decorator follows Amazon’s launch of a virtual furniture showroom in 2019 that allowed customers to design an entire room, from the wall’s paint colors to the type of lamp on a coffee table. The newer tool differs from the original in that customers now get to place items in their own rooms, rather than in a fake, virtual setup, which could make them feel more catered and connected to the brand. Though Amazon is an e-commerce behemoth, helping customers tailor their home spaces could help it be seen as a haven for personalized and individualistic goods, similar to Etsy and its one-of-a-kind decor.
By enhancing its tech tools to ease online shopping, Amazon could strengthen its presence in the home decor market and gain ground against virtual competitors like Jet and Wayfair.