By Tricia McKinnon
You are shopping for furniture and you just found a piece you absolutely love. Then the agonizing sets in. Will it? or won’t it? Fit into your space? And even if it does fit will it look good next to that side table you bought last Christmas? That’s where augmented reality shopping apps can make a difference. They let you see what a piece of merchandise looks like in your home before you buy it or if you want to buy a new pair of eyeglasses they can show you what the glasses look like on you without a trip to the mall. Use of augmented reality is still at its infancy with only 13% of people in the United States having ever used augmented or virtual reality before to shop.
Many retailers are coming out with augmented reality apps to make it easier for you to buy the perfect item. Here are ten retailers that have augmented reality functionality in their apps. Maybe you should give one of them a try before your next trip to the mall or in the case of Amazon before your next order.
All of these apps are available to iOS and Android users with the exception of the Anthropologie and Ikea Place apps which are only available to iOS users.
1. Home Depot
In 2017 Home Depot expanded the functionality in its main mobile app to allow users to overlay Home Depot merchandise on any room in their home.The app can ascertain the dimensions of a select number of Home Depot items ranging from refrigerators to chandeliers.That enables the consumer to have a 3D visual of a product in any space they want to see a product in. This app is worth a try as Forrester Research has ranked Home Depot’s mobile app as the number one retailer mobile app in the past due to its functionality and user experience.
IKEA’s augmented reality app IKEA Place will change the way you buy furniture.Using the IKEA Place app point your smartphone camera at your living room. The app then automatically measures the space, and provides recommendations on furniture that fits in the space.IKEA’s app was one of the first apps to be released using Apple’s augmented reality technology.
Wayfair has functionality called View in Room in 3D in its main mobile shopping app.Using only a smartphone, customers can see what Wayfair’s furniture looks like within their homes.
The co-founder and co-chairman ofWayfair, Steve Conine has said that “we knew early on that augmented reality had the potential to completely transform the way people shop for their homes, and as its quickly moved toward mainstream adoption, we’re excited to have played an integral role in shaping the experience for millions of shoppers.”
Targethas functionality within its app to allow customers to digitally see products in their homes. The functionality is called See it in Your Space and similar to other AR furniture shopping apps it allows customers to see what various furniture items look like within their own homes in a 3D view.You can easily type "See It in Your Space" in the search bar of Target’s app to see all of the products that are available in augmented reality.
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Sephora’s innovative mobile app contains a Virtual Artist. The Virtual Artist uses facial recognition technology to allow customers to digitally try on products.Customers scan their face using the app.Then they can try on different shades of makeup using the app. If a customer likes their simulated look they can quickly and easily buy the products through the app.Within the app customers can also take makeup tutorials.For example, if a customer takes a contouring tutorial the app will overlay the contouring look on the customer’s face digitally.
Amazon teamed up with L’Oreal to bring augmented reality to its beauty shoppers.The functionality which can be found in Amazon’s shopping app allows customers to see which shades of lipstick look best on them.To use the feature all a customer has to do is take a photo or video of themselves using their phone’s camera or they can upload a photo.Then they can select a range of different lipstick colours to try on.If you don’t want to “try on” the makeup yourself you can select a model that has a similar skin tone to yours and see what the makeup looks like on her.
Speaking about the launch of this functionality, Nicolas Le Bourgeois, former Head of Amazon beauty said: “this launch is another important milestone in our vision to be the best possible place for customers to discover and buy beauty products online.”
Nike has an augmented reality feature in itsapp called Nike Fit.The feature allows customers to find their true shoe size.To enable the app’s functionality all users have to do is point their phone’s camera at their feet and the app will determine their shoe size.All of this this can be done from the comfort of the customer’s home in less than a minute.Once the customer’s shoe size is determined it is saved in the app.If a customer shops in-store all a sales associate has to do is scan a QR code in the app and they can retrieve the customer’s shoe size.With more than an estimated 60% of people wearing the wrong size shoe size this app helps customers to get the shoe that fits.
8. Warby Parker
Warby Parker has an augmented reality feature in its app which allows customers to digitally try on glasses from the comfort of the customer’s home.Since the retailer cannot stock all of its inventory in its stores it is a great way to allow customers to “try-on” a broader range of products.One of the reasons Warby Parker added the functionality is because it noticed customers typically take pictures of themselves while trying on glasses in-store and then they share those pictures with friends.Customers can now do that easily with the retailer’s app.
If you have stepped into an Anthropologie store you will notice that very little of the retailer’s furniture inventory is on display. Instead you have to shop online to see the depth and breadth of Anthropologie’s home furnishing offerings. Since most of us are not interior designers the augmented reality functionality within Anthropologie’s main shopping app comes in handy if you are trying to determine if the piece you like online is a good match with your own home décor. The “preview in a room” feature is available for merchandise within Anthropologie’s custom home furniture category within the app.
Trying to decorate your new home but can’t figure what furniture to put in it? That’s where popular home design and decorating app Houzz comes in handy. All you have to do is use the apps’ View in My Room feature to see if that purple couch you are thinking about buying will fit into your space. You can also view an item in a room digitally under different lighting conditions just to make sure that when your new couch shows up at your home it looks like the shade of purple you were hoping it would look like.