- On Wednesday, home goods retailer Wayfair announced the launch of its updated mobile app, which features an augmented reality (AR) tool, a central hub for camera-based features and a 3D room planner. Per the company's press release, the features are designed to inspire users by helping them visualize how furniture will fit in their spaces.
- Using the aforementioned features, users can virtually place furniture within their space (and take photographs of certain rooms to use these features on the go), visually search for and purchase products they see and create three-dimensional rooms to examine layouts from different angles.
- The new features were added as the company redesigned the entire Wayfair app to create a more user-friendly shopping experience, according to the press release.
The updates to Wayfair's mobile app build off of capabilities it already offered, and may prove to be especially beneficial as more than half of Wayfair's customers place orders using mobile devices, the company said.
Wayfair debuted its AR capabilities last year, along with a slew of other retailers in the home space that incorporated augmented reality into their mobile apps in 2017, like Ikea, Target and Lowe's. This year, Modsy, an online interior design company, also raised $37 million to build out its technological offerings and introduce new shopping features.
It will take more than a strong AR app to turn around the fortunes of Wayfair, though, which has had a difficult time lately. In the third quarter, the company's losses increased by 80% to $272 million, and has failed to post a profit since going public in 2014. The home goods retailer has also come under fire for more than its disappointing finances this year. In June, Wayfair employees staged a walkout after company executives rejected a worker request to forgo business with contractors helping the U.S. government-run migrant border camps.
As a relatively new brand in the space, it seems that Wayfair, along with its competitors, are looking to simplify the cumbersome process of furniture shopping. As the space gets more saturated with digitally natives, investing in technology to alleviate some of the headaches of shopping for furniture online — where consumers have little to no opportunity to test the product before purchasing — could prove especially crucial.