DFS drives online sofa sales with 3D and AR technology

Furniture retailer DFS has partnered 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) technology firm Vertebrae to drive online sales.

The technology firm said that its web-based visualisation technology has assisted with augmenting more than 10,000 questions about the dimensions, fit, function and style of sofas as shoppers shift online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vertebrae said that DFS had successfully launched the largest Web-based AR implementation in the world with its platform, driving significant sales growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The platform offers 3D and AR-enabled visualizations for more than 10,000 sofas, allowing shoppers to virtually display the items in their home to examine details and assess fit and style, with no application download required.

Since launching in January, the partnership has delivered significant results, including a 112 per cent conversion lift and 106 per cent increase in Revenue Per Visit (RPV) for shoppers who have interacted with 3D and AR, according to Vertebrate.

James Vernon, head of online at DFS said: “DFS prides itself on bringing comfort to our customers, because a sofa is more than just a piece of furniture - it’s a place where home life happens.”

“We knew that 3D and AR would deliver an innovative shopping experience that went far beyond video or still images. Now digital shoppers can bring a virtual sofa into their home or office, and even walk around it, to see if it fits their space and matches the existing style of the room. The results so far have been outstanding, and we are successfully growing online sales through our partnership with Vertebrae.”

Through Vertebrae’s Axis platform shoppers visiting the DFS site can view handmade sofas in detail through a 3D button that allows the shopper to view the sofa from every angle, zooming in and out to access product details.

From there, the shopper can tap “View in Your Space” to display the sofa virtually within the context of their own home or office.

Fit is a crucial consideration for online furniture buyers and AR is an essential tool in helping shoppers assess product dimensions. AR displays the sofa at precise size and scale within the real-life environment for an accurate estimate of proportions relative to the rest of the room.

The AR experience is available through a direct product page link so that shoppers can quickly determine whether products are the right fit.

By outsourcing the management, integration, display and measurement of immersive assets designed for the Web, DFS was able to quickly pivot to showcase 3D and AR, without needing to quickly reconfigure and market an app download.

The brick and mortar store will always be an important part of the sofa buying journey, DFS said, but at a time when the showrooms were temporarily closed, DFS continues to deliver shopping experiences that give consumers confidence in purchase decisions and deliver immediate conversion gain.

Vince Cacace, chief executive of Vertebrae, said: “Vetebrae’s Axis platform gives DFS a highly scalable and unified toolset for managing, testing, deploying, and measuring Web-based 3D and AR assets, all while ensuring they are compatible with multiple browsers and device types.

"The result is that DFS shoppers are spending more, and online conversion rates as well as revenue per visit have all increased, despite challenging conditions since launch in January.”

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