As technology evolves and develops, it can change even the simplest aspects of our lives. One area which has been totally revolutionized over the last 15 years is purchasing items. Traditionally this was all done in person. The internet changed this completely, with sites such as eBay and Amazon coming to dominate the online shopping marketplace. Technology is continuing to change the way shopping is done, and this is impacting all kinds of items. Furniture is no exception, and below are listed 3 of the main ways technology has changed and continues to change, furniture shopping.
Shopping for furniture can be a long and challenging process considering the options available and the need to get the decision right. Choosing the wrong piece of furniture can not only be costly from a financial point of view, but you can be stuck with a piece you don’t like! Looking online before you buy can be incredibly helpful as going to a showroom may not result in you being able to see the item. They may not have the one you’re looking for to view in person in either the color or size you want. While looking at fabric samples is always useful, it can be hard to picture a color across a whole sofa. By looking at the options available online, you can see the different colors and shapes of sofas, for example, before you go and buy one. Some brands allow you to customize your order directly on the site and then place the order. While this is easier and more convenient than going into a showroom and placing the order in person, you don’t have the option to test the comfort and feel of a material. This is why it’s always beneficial to at least try out a similar sofa in person.
For smaller items such as small side tables or accessories such as lamps, buying from a traditional retail space such as a department store had a drawback. These items were not big enough to be ordered from scratch but also too big to keep a large amount of stock or display all the products in the store. By moving online, brands can display all of their products in all variations without having to spend money on a retail space. Because of this, they only need to worry about stock storage space or placing an order to create the product when a sale comes through. This is saving brands money and allowing them to operate more flexibly.
AR, or augmented reality, is one of, if not the biggest technological development when it comes to furniture shopping. The challenge with buying furniture is you have to imagine what it will look like in your home. With AR this is made much easier. Apps have now been developed to let you insert a piece into a room and allow you to see what it looks like with the rest of your furniture. This means, for example, you can see how a Chesterfield Sofa will look with the side tables you already have or if the color of an armchair will clash with the color of your walls. Retailers are beginning to develop apps to allow their specific products to be viewed in this way, and this is an area that is only going to grow in the coming years.
Overall, technology will continue to impact furniture shopping for both customer and retailers and has already made significant changes to an industry which had remained the same for a significant number of years.