The importance of augmented reality (AR) in e-Commerce retailing is growing, especially when large, hard-to-ship items are concerned. Both Wayfair and eBay have added the technology to their Android mobile apps. Wayfair lets shoppers see furniture in their homes before making a purchase through the View in Room 3D option, while eBay sellers can place items in virtual boxes to better calculate shipping costs.
Customers can tap a button on the Wayfair mobile shopping app to add moveable virtual items to determine how they would fit and look in a given room. Selected furniture and décor appears at scale and automatically anchors to the ground for easy adjustability.
“At Wayfair, we’re continually developing innovative technology features that make shopping for your home — from your home — not just easier, but preferred,” said Steve Conine, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman at Wayfair in a statement. “Leveraging AR, the Wayfair app allows shoppers to transform their homes into virtual showrooms, allowing them to see their favorite products up close and at every angle — all in their very own space.”
Virtual showrooming is becoming a common feature for home furniture retailers. Williams-Sonoma acquired Outward, an AR and 3D imaging startup, in October 2017, while Target, Lowe’s, Anthropologie and others have introduced their own options.
The eBay AR feature lets sellers choose from a variety of USPS Flat Rate shipping boxes labeled with their price, letting them test various fits before deciding on a container or trying to package the item. Users can also move the box around to get a complete view of how the product looks inside.
Both platforms run on Google ARCore technology, which is supported on more than 100 million Android devices.