Made.com launches tech innovation labs
Written by Hannah McGrath
Furniture retailer Made.com has launched an innovation lab aimed at trialling new retail technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D technology to help customers visualise items in their own home.
Made Labs, which will be based at the company’s headquarters in Shoreditch, London, will work with innovative tech startups using the latest technology to help customers find the right products.
The Labs team will work closely with the rest of the business to channel tech innovations onto Made.com’s core platform.
The launch comes after the company collaborated with a number of other technology firms, including Hullabalook, which created Sofasizer, an online tool that helps customers find the right size of sofa for their space.
In February, Made expanded its flagship showroom in Soho, London, with a range of new retail technologies, including supersized touch screens with Labs features such as Find My Style - to help customers find products and Shop Instagram - a shoppable feed of instagram posts featuring Made products, built with technology partner Theodo.
This month, Made launched new online interior design service built on a collaboration with French startup hubstairs. This service helps customers visualise their own home with Made furniture, using AI to recommend the right products and 3D technology to create a photo-quality view of the furnished room.
Made also announced that the Labs will be hosting an event later this year to give startups the opportunity to pitch their products and ideas to the company.
Jonathan Howell, chief technology officer at Made, said: “By 2022, 50 per cent of the consumer landscape will be Millennials or younger, this is a seismic shift for an industry that’s already gone through a huge amount of change over the past decade.
“At Made, we pride ourselves on relentless innovation and so a key challenge for us, as it should be for every business, is to continue to listen to what our customers want and action this, so we remain relevant in the changing consumer landscape.”
Howell also said that the Made Labs would help the company power its growth and help it with the goal of becoming Europe’s leading design destination.