How One 3D Render Can Transform Your Marketing Process

Furniture CGI has revolutionised product marketing and advertising. Previously, getting marketing imagery required a longwinded and costly photoshoot. Naturally, each change in season or new addition to a range required a new photoshoot, so the process started all over again.

 

With the advent of photorealistic 3D product rendering, Marketers and Manufacturers get perfect imagery in a simple and cost-effective way. Furniture CGI of any type – lifestyle, product shots, animation – can be created digitally, with no limits to creativity. And it can all be created from one simple sketch. Let us tell you how.

1. 3D visualisation for websites

Once your first 3D model is built, you can get a whole variety of furniture CGI: close-ups for demonstration of textures, materials and tiny details; cutouts for highlighting the inner structure of products, front views for general outside looks, side and bird views for showing the design from every angle.

 

Most importantly, the process is simple if you hire the right team. All a Manufacturer needs is to provide the 3D Artists with a reference image of the furniture product and its dimensions. No photoshoots, heavy prototypes transportation, and no need to control the process: 3D rendering companies create everything digitally, and in photoreal quality.

 

2. A CGI model allows for any colour-way to be showcased

A 3D visualisation can be edited. This way, 3D Artist can change fabric colours and textures for the Marketer to showcase all colourways and finishing options. Which is way more cost-effective than producing a separate prototype for each colour and send them all to a photography studio. Moreover, photorealistic CGI colourways will look every bit as impressive as a photo.

 

3. 3D model is perfect for showing different configurations

A professional 3D rendering team can make changes to the image geometry and get new furniture design configurations, for instance, add new armrests to a chair. Which is a great way to show all design variations in a furniture catalogue, as well as getting the cgi for a new upgraded version of the same design.

 

Making changes to a furniture configuration is also handy when it comes to testing the market. Before even having the physical prototype for models with upgraded design, companies can upload images to their website and start selling by pre-orders.

 

4. 3D Model of a furniture item can be put in a variety of scenes

With one 3D model, 3D Artists can place a product in a multitude of scenes, whether one needs a plain background or roomsets in different environments. Various lifestyle cgi is a great idea for furniture advertising, because different interior scenes showcase different benefits of a design and therefore appeal to different audiences.

 

Just imagine: one 3D model, and a plethora of lifestyle images without buying decor or going to locations, as it is the case with photography studios. Professional 3D Artists will create any kind of tailor-made interior scenes digitally, specifically for the product.

5. A 3D model can be further reused for any type of furniture CGI

Another advantage of 3D modelling for product design is that it can be used to get any type of 3D renderings, be it still furniture images or interactive solutions. With a ready 3D model, a Marketer or Manufacturer can get new visual materials in less time and at a reduced cost across all types of media. Online marketing campaigns benefit from photorealistic 3D animations, 360˚ views, even brochures and Virtual and Augmented Reality. The possibilities really are endless.

Furniture cgi has changed the product promotion process forever. Now, photorealistic 3D renders are an asset allowing to get top-notch images for online and traditional marketing, and refresh them any time. 3D modelling and visualization allow companies to get visuals faster than with photography, and it costs less. To get started on your 3D journey, contact Orbital today.


Orbital Acquires Contracts For Duresta, Cotswold Co and Style Library

Adding to what has already been a fantastic year, Orbital Vision has acquired contracts for three of the biggest furniture and fabrics companies in the UK; Duresta, The Cotswold Co. and Style Library.

 

Duresta is a highly successful and infamous brand, who has been crafting upholstered furniture in Long Eaton since 1938. Part of Sofa Brands International, Duresta followed quickly on from their sister company, Collins and Hayes after seeing the impact of the team’s 3D rendering skills on their sales and opportunities . The marketing team at Duresta quickly built a great working relationship with the graphics team in our office which made their decision to create an account with us easy. We are pretty fun, what can we say.

 

In the last week, two more accounts have chosen to work alongside Orbital to transform their digital footprint, the first of which is The Cotswold Co. Known for their quintessential English cottage style selection of furniture and home accessories, they have tasked us with recreating their timeless, rural classics in 3D. Thy couldn’t say no after visiting our stand at The January Furniture Show and seeing no difference between our renders and real photoshoots, realising the potential time and costs savings they were about to enter into with our team working alongside them. Along with the fun of playing with our virtual reality headset at the show.

 

The second account win over the last week was Style Library. For the Scion brand, Orbital will be recreating legacy photoshoots along with digitally creating their huge selection of fabrics wrapping a number of different products to make their website more accessible, and is sure to roll onto other digital opportunities. Orbital were one of three agency options for Style Library, but after a visit to our home at The Exchange, along with seeing the standard of rendering and success Orbital achieved with Linwood, there was no question of the right team for the job. (The fact that we offer a killer lunch may have also been a helping hand).

 

We can’t wait to get our teeth stuck into the new challenges and projects that these accounts will bring to our desks, and feel very excited about growing our relationships with well-established brands in the industry.

 

*All photography credits to Duresta, Cotswold Co. and Style Library


Furniture News cameo written by Paul Farley, Editor-in-Chief

This month, Orbital Vision have made a three page cameo in Furniture News Magazine. A great write up courtesy of Paul Farley, Editor-in-Chief, explaining what we have been up to since our pledge at the January Furniture Show. Read the original article here

 

For those of you who missed it, Orbital pledged to create this years five winners of The Furniture Awards - Sealy UK, Weimann, Hartman UK, Parker knoll and ALF Uno - star products rendered in all it's photorealistic glory, using specialist 3D software. Furniture News checked in to see how the project was coming along...

 

We collected all reference imagery and photographed the measurements of the products in person. Using that imagery we then build the furniture in 3Ds Max.  Devil is in the detail and therefore the building stage is probably the most time consuming. We spent a lot of time ensuring that every piece of detail is spot on, including all the little imperfections that which make all the different to to a build looking real or fake.

 

Once the five builds were completed, the winners received a white-out of their product so they could sign off the overall shapes. We didn't apply any fabrics or materials at this point purely so they can focus on the shape.

 

Once they were happy, it was time to get down to mapping. This consists of setting up the product so fabric can be applied and where it sits on the Fram. It's a little bit like a digital jigsaw for simpler terms. Next, we look closely at the fabric - in order for us to get the best results, we treat fabrics as a separate part of the process and how we build the fabrics is all dependent on the type we're dealing with. From simple cottons, to fabrics with multiple layers and weaves to velvets.

With the products built and mapped, this can be rendered out in every different fabric option, at any cameo angle (including 360s). For most, the next step is to situate their product in a room-set.Like any photoshoot, we start by putting together a mood-board of the what look we want to achieve, and which accessories to use and colour scheme to go with. From here we build everything from the ground up, unique to the winners. A benefit of this is that the room-set is the free to use over and over again for upcoming projects, just by changing the colours and accessories, walls and floors to make it look like an entirely new room!

 

Reaching the final stage of the process, this is where things really come to life. With our super high-tech rendering machines, we can render out any model in any fabric range of different colours and even at any angle all with the click of a button. Everything is rendered in high resolution, so can be used in print, PoS, online and social media marketing.

 

Working with this years award winners has been so diverse for Team Orbital. From creating all the different types of furniture to also introducing our 3D services and showing the alternative to a traditional photoshoot.


The Secret of High-Profile Retailers Driving Sales Using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in 2019

These are doubtless challenging times for brick-and-mortar retailers who prove slow to incorporate new technologies in their operations. But disruption also means opportunity for those who embrace innovation and are willing to reinvent themselves in the digital age, and immersive technologies are becoming an increasingly big part of that picture.

 

According to a number of studies, e-commerce is expected to be the number one sector for AR technologies. Smart retailers are looking to visualisation tools like 3D products, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality as a way to show off more products in less space reducing the need for square footage.

 

Amazon, IKEA, and Wayfair are all using these technologies to bring together the advantages of online shopping with brick and mortar retailing to add value to real-world shopping experiences with a minimal learning curve for both employees and customers. In the U.S, Macy’s has introduced a Virtual Reality furniture experience allowing people to design their own living spaces, populating it with items from Macy’s extensive catalogue of products, using a VR headset to then walk around these spaces in Virtual Reality.

 

Ikea is one retailer that shows how the combination of physical and digital space can be used successfully by providing VR as an on-site service in strategic places where it makes sense to do so, such as helping shoppers build their kitchen with a specialist and visualize it in an immersive way. In parallel they also offer AR capabilities to let customers see how items look in their own home environment with the Ikea Place mobile app.

 

The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, has also embraced immersive technology in a wide variety of ways. They have actively explored the use of Mixed Reality technology to streamline its warehouse operations and recently integrated an AR functionality into their official app to help customers price check items quickly in store. Walmart’s most ambitious VR rollout to date, however, has been in staff training. They are scaling up their use of VR training program on the Oculus Go in a bid to offer access to such training to every one of its U.S. based employees.

 

The opportunities that will soon be widely available with the availability of AR and VR, especially once 5G becomes widely accessible are endless. If established retailers are able to use immersive technology to energize customers and give them reasons to not only visit their stores, but make more purchases and fewer returns, this could prove a game changer for struggling high streets and provide a much-needed boost for the economy. Successful retailers need to always be at the forefront of technology so as not to be left behind, VR and AR are very much on the rise.


5 Tips for Successful Digital Marketing Using 3D Rendering

Product 3D rendering is the best way to get unlimited numbers of marketing imagery fast. Not just images looking good on the website, but images that make visitors click the call-to-action – have a look at the website, learn more about the item and finally make a purchase.

 

So, Manufacturers and Marketers use 3D product rendering services to get creative marketing images. Group and hero shots, plain backgrounds and lifestyles, detail, general, front and top view, with cutouts, customization features, colour solutions – 3D rendering software can create it all, you name it. Let’s look at 5 ways product 3D rendering makes digital campaigns breed results.

1. 3D Visualisation for Websites

When shopping online, customers expect to see at least 3 images of a product. Naturally, the more images, the better chances to get full attention of the audience. Product 3D rendering eases most customer concerns. 3D lifestyles show the types of environment the item looks best in, as well as dimensions and the decor that goes with it, whilst isolated shots highlight the main features of a product and show its design without distractions.

 

And let’s not forget about animation. 3D animations, panoramas, 360 views provide more information on the item and make for a pleasant customer experience. The viewer appreciates being able to turn the object around, zoom in, see the detail. Not only does it make shopping more pleasant, but in 2019, these luxuries have come to be expected, and the fickly customer is likely to leave your site in favour of another online shop which allows them to see all angles in a greater quality render.

 

Then there is increased SEO. Search engines favour relevant content. And images getting clicks are exactly that type of materials: they bring visitors to the website, lead them to explore its content and interact with it. So, the more successful images you have, the more chance you have of getting and keeping top positions in the search results.

 

Needless to say, each product shot needs alt and title tags, and descriptions. So when your high-quality, engaging product design renderings have well-written attributes with relevant keywords, search engine rankings will know that your page content is high-quality and therefore useful for your target audience.

2. Photo Realistic Rendering for Content Marketing

Blog is a must-have for successful product marketing. Sure enough, one can cope without it, but why missing on a sure way to increase brand visibility, drive more traffic to the website and build mailing lists. Product 3D rendering provides Marketers and Manufacturers with imagery to illustrate the articles. So that the blog visitors not only read about how to get a high-quality armchair, but actually see what should be inside owing to 3D cut-outs.

 

Not to mention the ease of seasonal marketing. With 3D rendering you can ever-change the colours, background and interior accessories that surround your product. Making it marketing ready for any season in an instant.

3. Product Visualisation for Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a powerful tool that can skyrocket profit. It’s the best way to reach out to practically any target audience, in the age of the internet. Successful social media campaigns allow to build hypes for product launches, increase brand awareness, and drive more traffic to the website. And product 3D rendering allows to get any kind of images for promotional campaigns, whatever the strategy and creative idea.

 

On Facebook, it always makes sense to tap into the power of 360 views and videos for customers to learn more about the product line and the brand itself. 3D visualizations in Pinterest and Twitter will make sure consumers find and pin or retweet your images when looking for inspiration.

4. CGI for Digital Advertising

Much of the power of digital advertising lies in the fact that that Marketers can measure results and kill the ad if it’s no good, or make changes. Unlike photography, product 3D rendering cost and technology allow for the images to be tested and altered without photoshoots and transportation fees. This way, your marketing team can test the image until they find which drives the most engagement. Which is great news for online advertising budgets.

5. Product 3D Rendering for Email Marketing

Email marketing campaign is a time-proven way to drive interested consumers to the website and even reactivate dormant customers. Combined with social media advertising, it has twice as much power.  Having a variety of 3D visualizations is incredibly handy for implementing strategy. Promoting new models, announcing events and sales – high-impact imagery is always handy to build communication with clients.

Digital Marketing Campaigns are now vital for the success of any company. If you feel like you are not making the most of your strategy, and need some advice or want us to send you an example of the flexibility of our renders on one of your products, get in touch with us at Orbital today.


Agency vs In House: Who Should You Hire for Digital Marketing

Should you hire in-house or hire an agency? When it comes to digital marketing, the decision can be critical.

 

It is a huge decision which must align with budgets, timelines, and long-term business strategy. Let’s not beat around the bush, we are an agency, so of course we will be slightly biased. But there is a reason that there are a huge number of successful agencies in existence, because they are a sensible business addition. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why.

Skill Diversification

In general, digital marketers tend to have very specific skill sets. You have paid search specialists, social media masters, web content / developers, graphic designers, conversion rate rulers…and the list goes on.

 

But the thing is, digital marketing is too complex for one person to be an expert at everything. So, if you hire a paid search specialist in-house, you can expect them to do a great job at paid search. But what if paid search isn’t panning out? Or what if the competition is driving great results with an ever-evolving website?

 

What do you do then? Obviously, you could just hire a web developer and content marketer, but that may not necessarily be in the budget or you may not be completely sold on the idea yet. What should you do?

Diversifying Your Marketing

Companies that hire in-house often struggle to diversify their digital marketing efforts and completely align their branding with online materials and print materials for a cohesive and effective strategy. After all, investing in a new marketing channel is a risk. If you hire someone and it doesn’t work out, you’ve just created a very difficult situation for yourself.

 

As a result, these companies often end up stuck in one marketing channel. And, often, that channel isn’t even working that well. For example, if you’ve got a great landing page designer but terrible ads that are driving the wrong traffic to your site, you may have trouble getting good results from your campaigns.

 

Is that your designer’s fault? Of course not! But, if you’re restricting your marketing resources like this, you probably won’t end up getting the results from digital marketing that you’re hoping for.On the other hand, with a good agency, you have access to a wide range of skills and experience.

 

For example, at Orbital, we have a team that put their skills together to create successful websites and campaigns. Individually, each team member is good at what they do, but collectively, they provide much more value than any single person could. And, as an added bonus, since each team member is actively working with a number of accounts, they have a depth and breadth of experience that gives them insights they can apply to new campaigns and situations. We have the added bonus of also offering services like enVision and print marketing and design which will align all aspects of your marketing under one roof. Tempting, right?

What's the damage?

As a result, our clients don’t end up with account managers who have tunnel vision or who lose creativity over time. Instead, our clients get 6 sets of eyes on their account on a regular basis.

 

So, when it comes to skill diversification, should you go with an agency or hire in-house?

 

Really, when you get right down to it, this is a question of resources. For larger companies, it may be worth the investment to hire someone in-house to diversify their marketing efforts, although, when it comes to hiring Orbital, you get the best of a digital marketing agency, with 3D render and other exciting futuristic benefits on top.

 

After all, if your marketing needs are significant enough that they justify hiring a dedicated expert, you may get the best results from hiring someone to work on a channel full-time. However, for most businesses, agencies are a great option for diversification. Most companies don’t need (or can’t yet afford) to hire a full team of dedicated marketers, so working with an agency can be a great way to widen your marketing net without significantly increasing your overhead.

Conclusion

There are a lot of reasons why people pick an agency or simply decide to keep things in-house. Both are completely viable ways to grow your business. However, agencies offer a lot in the way of skill diversification, breadth of experience and value for money, which is why many businesses find that going with an agency is the best way to grow their business.

 

If this article has made you wonder if you are really getting the best from your digital marketing, and you think Orbital may be able to help you grow, get in touch with us today for a discussion on where we could take you.


9 Ways to Boost Online Sales

In 2019, for any business, your main sales and marketing tool should be your website. If your business doesn’t have a clear, modern, visually pleasing and easy to navigate site, your sales will undoubtedly suffer the consequences.

 

One of the main objectives of an eCommerce website is to convert users to customers. If users have a positive, simple experience on your site, it will keep them coming back. And if you don’t have the technical know-how, or you are lacking a tech team, the biggest tip of all would be to hire a team of experts who can implement these steps for you. Your profit growth will thank you for it. To make sure you have the optimum website to increase your sales, follow the 9 tips below.

Declutter Your Website

A simple, clean website design not only provides a better user experience, it also leads to higher conversion rates. According to Google, as the number of elements on a page (images, text, titles, etc.) rises from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95%.

Stop the Buffer

If your site is slow to load, you may be losing conversions simply because visitors get tired of waiting a few extra seconds. To improve your website load times, streamline page content, compress large images, and make sure to use a high-quality website hosting company.

Build Trust

People are more likely to do business with companies they trust, so make sure your website projects a professional, trustworthy image. To show visitors your site is safe and your business is legitimate, make sure you advertise your safety certificate and include customer testimonials on your site. Make sure you’re effectively managing your online reputation.

Be Mobile Friendly

As more and more people use their smartphones to browse and buy, making sure your site provides a good experience for mobile users is crucial to improving your conversion rates. Your site should be responsive, with a mobile-friendly layout, simplified forms, and easily clickable callouts and buttons.

Use High Quality Images

People respond to images, and having quality images on your site draws interest and creates an emotional response. A positive, professional-looking image that makes your site visitors feel good is a great way to get them to take action. If you have an e-commerce store, use multiple product images showing different angles and key details to boost conversion rates.

Create Custom Landing Pages

If you use PPC or social media ads, don’t include links that send people to your home page. If they’re interested enough to click, they want to learn more about that specific product or service, not wander around lost on your website trying to find the information they want. To increase conversions, create a unique landing page for each campaign, with a streamlined design and a single clear call to action.

Offer Simple Online Customer Service

If a potential customer runs into problems or has a question, they need to know how to get the issue resolved quickly—if you make them wait or don’t give them an easy way to find help, they’re likely to leave your site. Most people now look for a live chat, it means no waiting in a phone queue, no waiting days for an email response. Make sure you are catering for customers’ needs in the easiest way possible.

Include Site Search

Your website navigation should make it easy for site visitors to find what they’re looking for, but in case it doesn’t, or for people who want an immediate answer to a very specific question, including a site search feature on your website can keep people from leaving your site to look for the answer elsewhere. You only have a few short seconds to catch the interest of a visitor, don’t make them work hard to find what they’re looking for, or they will just click that back button.

Have Clear Call to Actions

Site visitors are much more likely to become customers if you clearly show them the action you want them to take. Create compelling calls to action on your site to prompt visitors to take the next step toward conversion, whether that’s signing up for an email newsletter, ordering a brochure or making a purchase.

If you need someone to take a look at your website to increase your online sales, get in touch with us at Orbital today. We can take the hassle out of tech, we'll let you sit back and see the results.


3 Reasons Why Product Photography is a Thing of The Past

Photoshoots may seem a necessary spend for furniture manufacturers and retailers, but they are quickly becoming a thing of the past. And here are three reasons why.

Faster turnaround on the creation of marketing materials

  • If are on a tight deadline and need beautiful images fast, you may not have the time and resources to curate an impressive catalogue of images for your new range or product, which is the main component to furniture marketing and sales.

 

  • The process behind furniture photography is a lengthy one. A prototype is the first thing that needs to be made and transported to a set. The photoshoot itself and manpower needed is costly and time consuming, and then comes post-production. And if you need any alterations? You’ll likely need to reshoot the whole thing.

 

  • There are plenty of organisational issues involved with a photo shoot, creating plenty of room for errors. Delayed shipments, below par photographers, and a poor studio are all potential issues you can run into.

 

  • When it comes to creating that same photograph as a 3D render, the process is streamlined in every way. The only two things you need to consider are writing up the details of the project and the final approval stage.

 

  • No photoshoots or shipping involved.

Costs involved in furniture photography skyrocket compared to 3D rendering

  • Furniture photography can be costly, and there isn’t much of a way to get around that. If you’re looking to be as cost-effective as possible, getting a 3D render is usually the better choice.

 

  • With photography, the expenses pile up and eat away at your budget in no time at all.

 

  • Accounting for the cost of shipping a selection of traditional prototypes, you can also count on paying rent for a space to shoot your photos, as well as the cost of photographers and post-production. Even for a single photo shoot, your bill could be hefty. With any reshoots doubling or tripling that initial cost.

 

  • Now, if you’re rendering your product, most of these fees are eliminated. The only thing you have to pay for when it comes to a 3D render is the designer. Everything is created digitally, from the lighting and décor to the set and furniture itself.

Ability to make design changes on the fly

  • With a photograph, there’s a limit to the changes you can make after the fact. Post-production can touch up a photo, making the colour pop and changing the lighting. But no major alterations can be made to a still image.

 

  • If you need a substantial change, you’ll have to reshoot. This can be expensive and push your timeline back significantly.

 

  • With a 3D model, you can make all the changes you want without any extra time or money. Need to change the lightning? No problem. Wish there were a few more flowers in the background? That can be arranged (pun intended).

 

  • And if your product changes, or if you have a selection of fabrics available, all of that can be created and corrected in a 3D model in no time at all.

 

  • Your products can also be altered before they are even created. Manufacturing your prototype traditionally can be expensive. Accounting for colour options and variations, you’ll have to create multiple prototypes. Not to mention any changes you decide on means a whole new prototype needs to be manufactured. With 3D rendering, a product can be created from a mere sketch, and can be altered or redesigned in days. Along with this, if you are creating a whole new range but only have a design for one of your products in the range, leave it down to the graphic designers to create 3D prototypes of the remaining products in the range. From a sketch of a 3-seater sofa, you can have a render of a loveseat, an armchair and an ottoman to match in no time at all.

3D rendering makes sense for companies of all sizes, and let me tell you why. While photorealistic 3D rendering may sound like something out of reach for small companies, it doesn’t have to be. Regardless of how many products you have – even if it’s just one – you could benefit from a 3D render. When your design is going through changes, having a 3D render will allow you to easily manipulate the design, making changes on-the-go. This is important because it’ll allow buyers and designers to visualise the end-product. You can enjoy quick turnarounds for your marketing campaigns, without the extra time having to be put aside, once your prototype is made in 3D, your product launch can begin straight away, for sales to come rolling in.

 

If you need a helping hand or some advice when it comes to making the transition to 3D rendering, get in touch with us today. We are the experts.


Why is 5G about to revolutionise the furniture industry, and what your business can do to prepare

We are about to enter a technological revolution with the introduction of 5G, but what does this mean for retail and the furniture industry, and how can your business prepare?

The introduction of 5G becoming available as standard in 2020 means there will be a huge shift in what is available, and the speed and power of internet compared to what we understand as normal with 4G. There have been announcements that full length feature films will be downloadable in just 10 seconds with the power of 5G, and we will notice that anything online will be instantaneous, with no lag, no buffering and is claimed to be four times faster than 4G connections. But we should be looking at the wider picture. Yes, it will make browsing and streaming video, or gameplay quicker, but the spectrum of opportunity provided for retail is still untapped with what will become available with 5G for companies who are planning ahead.

 

Imagine that your company’s app will allow a consumer to walk into a shop and be guided in real time, by augmented reality, to the exact location of their desired item. How about they walk through a virtual store to make purchases? 5G will even allow AI (Artificial Intelligence) to run smoothly, allowing for your app or website to create a personal assistant to suggest products and fabrics to the visitor based on their recent searches or preferences instantaneously. The introduction of 5G means these virtual and augmented experiences can take place on a simple handset, and at scale, something that is hard to achieve on today’s 4G networks. The first step towards daunting ideas like VR and AR is 3D rendering. Online furniture shops that don’t have the option for consumers to see a 360 view of a product, and see the piece covered in their fabric of choice, are already being left behind by the bigger players.

 

Artificial intelligence tools, such as chatbots or virtual personal assistants are already being used by innovative retailers to improve their customer service. H&M’s Kik chatbot, for example, makes apparel suggestions based on the consumer’s preferences. Shoppers are presented with images of various different outfits, including questions about their style type for to suggest items which can be purchased or saved for later. When it comes to the furniture industry, we already know that furniture is already seen as the biggest risk item when buying online. If you haven’t already, have a read of why Virtual Reality will soon be the only way to buy furniture online . The way this technology will be supported on scale, is through 5G and we are about to see a massive shift in online furniture sales technology.

 

History has proved that businesses who take that first leap into tech-forward advances tend to reap the most rewards. Not only does it put you at the forefront of digital movements, but the publicity surrounding the introduction of new retail processes is priceless. People were recently stunned by Swedish furniture giant, IKEA, as they have moved ahead of the crowd already, launching an online virtual reality store in Australia. They are now allowing users to browse through a wider variety of furnishing products at home either through their smartphone (mobile VR headset) or desktop, mimicking the instore experience. This is the future of furniture sales, and the not so distant future at that.

 

If you want to learn more about how to maximise the impact 5G can have on your sales by digitally preparing your website, apps and strategy, get in touch with us at Orbital today.


Why Virtual Reality Will Soon Be the Only Way to Buy Furniture

Thanks to new technologies like augmented reality, 3D rendering and virtual reality, the furniture industry is finally ready to have its online moment. These are the latest tools designers and retailers are using to give clients a clearer vision of projects and purchases before they commit.

As we see the retail industry move away from brick and mortar we are seeing online only retailers start growing, in some areas overtaking high street shops. This is particularly surprising in the furniture and homewares sector, but we saw it in 2018 as online mattress companies like “Caspar” and “Emma” were topping mattress sales without a single brick and mortar shop. This really opens up a space for virtual reality as we see a gap in the market for endless opportunities to show products to the consumer without having to see a product in real life.

 

Books and music were the first products to really see success online. Without having to touch or feel the products, there was little standing in the way of a consumer clicking on the Buy Now button. Once user reviews were introduced into the mix, the ecommerce virus started taking hold of electronics too. When it came to clothing, it took a little more brain power. With consumers being used to trying on clothes and feeling the quality of fabrics, online apparel had a slow start. But it was nothing that next day delivery and free returns couldn’t fix.

 

Now, it’s furniture’s time to shine online, but the category requires completely new tactics. While user reviews help customers understand the quality and feel of products, they can’t help a buyer see how the piece actually fits in a room, which is the biggest obstacle we’re seeing when consumers consider the risks of buying online.

 

Furniture buying requires consumers to invest significant amounts of time and money choosing an item they will have to live with for many years. Add this to the thought that homeowners will want to see if a furniture piece fits in their space, and matches the current arrangements and products they already have in their home, virtual reality can really kick in.

We are seeing AR and VR crop up in certain home décor apps, even if it is still early and some are stilted. Take Dulux for example, although not perfect, their app allows you to take a photo of your room and place their paint colours on any wall, so you can preview the finished look without spending any time or money. Now imagine the success if this was available to interior designers and general homeowners in the realm of furniture. Superimposing that sofa you’ve been lusting after, into your current living room space – to scale – and in your chosen fabric. It’s important to envision the whole room, including pieces you own and pieces you’re considering purchasing. We don’t think that this new retail revolution is far off. But you know what they say – the early bird catches the worm. It is usually the businesses who nail these new approaches first that get the long-term results.

 

The future can be exciting, if maybe a little daunting. Orbital are working on their own Virtual Reality products to help retailers and manufacturers sell their products – keep your eyes peeled for updates!