Global e-commerce giant Amazon Inc continues to invest deeper in furniture segment. The latest development is a new “Showroom” tool which allows customers to visualize various couches and furniture including those sold by Amazon’s private label brands.
‘Showroom’ is a new feature available on the Amazon’s website and mobile app. A user can change the colour of the wall and the floor inside the virtual room and then swap different furniture options available. Product descriptions will be available on the right-hand scroll and a user can easily add the selected items to the cart.
Amazon launched an augmented reality feature for iPhone users in November 2017 that allowed customers to place virtual versions of the product into real-world scenes before buying. It allowed them to see how a toaster or a coffee maker will look on their kitchen counters even before buying the item.
Also, in November 2017, Amazon launched two private label furniture brands called ‘Rivet’ and ‘Stone & Beam’. And in October 2018 it launched its third private label furniture brand called ‘Ravenna Home’. Amazon rolled out a new recommendation tool called ‘Scout’ in September 2018 that displays images of products in categories including furniture, lighting, kitchen & dining, patio, bedding and home decor.
Amazon has been reported to be building four gigantic warehouses to handle bulky items like furniture and electronics. Amazon is rising amidst hefty competition from Wayfair and Williams-Sonoma to capture the $50 billion online furniture industry in the United States. The category comes with complexities like delivery and handling.
Walmart, Amazon’s rival in the US, is also investing in the area as it launched a new home shopping website in 2018. Various small scale startups are also tapping into the online furniture industry. Seattle-based Spruce Up is using machine learning to personalize the interior designing industry. Los-Angeles-based Hutch raised $10 million for its augmented reality-based home design app.