The experience of shopping for furniture online is rapidly changing in India. Today, one can furnish their entire home at the click of a button, with no hassle of chasing a local carpenter or wading through shops and bylanes for the right furniture. The range of products, after-sales services, customer-friendly return policies and the sheer convenience of buying online are the driving factors for this revolution.
Having said that, selling furniture online is complex. It is a category with a high ‘touch & feel’ requirement. But smart technology can become an important catalyst in the buying process. Further, good visualization tools can easethe customers’ purchase anxiety.
Let’s analyse how leading online furniture player, Urban Ladder, has leveraged technology to seamlessly translate the customers offline experience, online. Particularly, for customers looking to buy high ticket items such assofas, dining tables, beds on Urban Ladder.
Firstly, the User Interface of the website ensures customers have a seamless store experience and easy navigation.When it comes to product visualisation, Urban Ladder found an innovative solution to help customers get a sense of the size and shape of the product. Urban Ladder was the first company to introduce silhouette images (computer-generated images of real people). This helps customers visualize how big or small the piece of furniture is when a man or woman of a particular height and weight sit or stand against it.
The 360-degree product view on the website gives customers a complete view of product. Given furniture is a bulky product, the technology used to create 360 degree views was customized to make this possible. This has helped customers get different perspectives of the product and influence them to make informed purchase decisions.
But what next? As the ecommerce revolution matures, consumers are increasingly comfortable buying furniture online. Butat the same time they are constantly looking for answers to questions. What will it really look like? Will it fit in the space? What is the texture of the fabric? Innovation such as, 3D augmented reality and improvised visualisation tools are shaping the customers online buying experience.
Going back to the future, launched in 2014, Urban Ladder’s revolutionary ‘Living Spaces’ app,is a one of its kind in the online furniture segment. Users can place life size models of Urban Ladder sofas to visualize their entire living room. They can select numerous colour and seating options without using any physical furniture. Visualisation tools are used to give specific dimensions of the product, visual texture to the fabric etc. This gave customers a seamless online shopping experience garnering significant market share and great affinity for the brand. They have another app called ‘Urban Storage’ which is a wardrobe configurator. Again, a simple but super powerful app.
Going forward,customers are expecting an evermore personalised shopping experience. Urban Ladder has been the leader in finding innovative solutions for online furniture shopping.They are one of the few brands who have harnessed and leveraged the power of technology to its maximum.