Building a real-time virtual product viewing
experience for a specialty furnitue store.

Retaility, a 15 year old chain of specialty furniture stores, decided to create a whole new experience for its buyers. The company who specializes in designer furniture and home decorative artifacts wanted to use mobile technology to help customers see the furniture placed in their house virtually, so that they could make better buying decisions. The project was exciting and one of a kind in the industry, demanding complex technology and design expertise. This is where we stepped in.

The Problem

Building an application that seamlessly bridges the product
viewing experience with the buying experience.

Giving the customer a chance to experience Retaility furniture was not only a great user experience but made business sense as well as handing over the furniture to every customer to try and place it in their house was a big challenge.

TECHNOLOGY
CHALLENGE

  • The application was to enable the user to view the furniture as placed in different parts of their own house and also take pictures of the same and share it within their personal community.
  • Once the buyer identifies the furniture they want and decide to buy it, they should be able to quickly order it.
  • The application had to recommend alternatives to the buyer, while displaying a selected furniture.
  • Enable complex integration of e-commerce features with the furniture objects visible through camera and further integration of payment and purchase, social media.

Domain
CHALLENGE

  • The client wanted to reduce the furniture returns ratio, which was stagnating the revenue growth.
  • Due to the increased return ratio, the furniture handling overhead cost was increasing.
  • In-transit furniture damage probability is higher.
  • Reduce the overhead, maintenance and storage costs of furniture in showroom.

Design
CHALLENGE

  • Showcasing all specialty furniture and categorizing them was critical.
  • Once the buyer identifies the furniture, the buyer should be able to view the furniture from all sides and angles.
  • Building an intuitive user experience that would not only keep the buyer engaged but give them an easy way to shop.

The Solution

An application that creates a virtual 3D buying experience in real time.

The Perennial team got together to build an applicaiton solution with the following features:

1. The application helps buyers to view the product from all sides and angles. To make this experience possible every furniture was recreated as high definition 3D object.

2. The application is built with categorized list of all the specialty furniture and a product browse functionality to help buyers browse through products easily.

3. Using Augmented reality technology integrated with the camera, buyers can place the 3D furniture objects in the aparment and view it as a part of their house.

4. To ensure that the furniture is viewed correctly we created a specialized marker to be placed at the area where the furniture is expected to be seen in reality.

5. Users can adjust the direction of the furniture object from the screen itself to align the furniture properly.

6. They can also move with the camera in the room space to see how the furniture will look from various angles.

7. Users can take pictures of the furniture and share it with their personal community to take feedback.

8. Once the user decides to buy a product, it can be purchased immediately using the app.

9. In-app purchase API gives information on the price of each product.

10. The application comes with a buit in product catalogue integrated such that potential buyers can easily choose from a range of products from different categories. The app also gave information about the product code of chosen product.

Technology Stack:
Unity 3D, Qualcomm Vuforia augmented reality, Objective C

The Result

A tool that helps the buyer make the best purchase decision possible.

A. Benefits to Retailers:

1. It helped the retailer display their products without the hassle of displaying the products in store.

2. The experience provided by the application went viral, leading to a huge bump in application download by potential buyers.

3. The mobile app has helped in faster conversion. One of stores has been able to bring down its Stock Return Ratio (SRR) from 30% to 10%.

4. With products being experienced virtually the client greatly reduced overhead cost of furniture handling and breakage.

5. The experience users have had with the app has led to increased footfalls in stores.

6. Retailer are now able to create a catalog with different product options that can displayed really fast.

 

B. Benefits to Consumers

1. Reduces the burden of imagining how a furniture would look in a house by displaying the actual product in 3D and real-time.

2. By viewing the product in such detail and in the context of their own house/office, the chances of buyer’s remorse is drastically reduced.

3. With the help of social media, the buyer is able to get suggestions from his/her friends, before they make the final buying decision.