How Virtual Test Drives Are Allowing Better Product Trials

How Virtual Test Drives Are Allowing Better Product Trials
Retail

AR apps are changing the way people interact with products they're considering for purchase, offering clearer impressions of what the end-result will be while easing the decision-making process

PSFK
  • 21 may 2018

A picture is worth a thousand words—and is infinitely useful when it comes to digital shopping and decision-making. This is why brands increasingly are leveraging image-recognition and AR technology to improve search and advice, create interactive retail experiences and surface additional information.

In particular, furniture retailers are using augmented reality technology to enable shoppers to trial products remotely, allowing them to more clearly envision how items like beds or tables will actually look in their own homes. Here’s how two major brands are implementing AR apps to improve the home-goods buying experience:

Target
Target’s See It In Your Space feature marshals augmented reality technology that allows online shoppers to use their smartphone camera with Target’s website in order to see how furniture they’re considering buying will look in their room. To use the tool, users click the button “See it in your space” from the product detail page on the Target mobile site. Then, users take a photo of their space and move, scale and rotate the product in question using directional arrows and other controls, or by pinching and dragging the object across the phone’s touchscreen. The end result is a photo of the product—like a chair, table, shelf or cabinet—in the shopper’s room. Shoppers can choose to add the item directly to their shopping cart on the image that appears.

IKEA
Home goods retailer IKEA leverages Apple’s ARKit to let customers envision furniture items inside their living spaces. Users download the ARKit app and use their smartphone device to to snap a photo of the place where they would like to visualize the IKEA object. Then they browse the app for an item, select it to insert in into their photo and move it into a place that works for them. They can share their pictures or save them, and use the app to price or reserve the items to eventually buy them on a local site. The app automatically scales the size of objects to fit into the space that they have snapped. IKEA has also rendered the images as three-dimensional objects in the app, complete with shading that responds to light in the given location that users have snapped and the texture of materials on the products.

Virtual test drives are just one way that visual and image-based technologies are enhancing the retail experience. For more information on how brands are optimizing their shopping offerings , see PSFK’s report Camera As Consumer Engagement Tool.

A picture is worth a thousand words—and is infinitely useful when it comes to digital shopping and decision-making. This is why brands increasingly are leveraging image-recognition and AR technology to improve search and advice, create interactive retail experiences and surface additional information.

+AR
+AR & VR
+augmented reality
+chat a researcher
+Design
+home
+mobile
+retail
+shopping
+store experience
+store experience & design
+Store Expression
+technology

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