How Modern Technology Has Impacted the Furniture Segment
If you think furniture is merely a static, functional element in a house or office, think again!
Technology is disrupting all realms of human life and furniture is no exception. When it comes to buying furniture, customers desire functionality, comfort, and convenience. Disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence are combining comfort and utility, helping the furniture industry offer the best possible products and customer service.
Here’s how technology is revolutionizing the furniture domain, offering innovative décor solutions for homes and offices and enabling furniture retailers to gain competitive edge.
IoT-Enabled Furniture Is In
IoT is increasingly being used in the home and office interior designing segment as it enables users to remotely control the interior temperature, the lighting, the door locks, and more using their smartphones.
Though IoT is yet to fully disrupt the furniture domain, several innovations in this segment are employing embedded biometric sensors and touch screens to integrate technology in customers’ daily lives, thereby offering enhanced comfort and convenience.
For instance, apart from using attractive designs and the best wood for furniture, manufacturers are working with technology firms to bring in innovative elements in interior décor. IoT has enabled furniture makers to introduce intelligent beds, recliners, and sofas that can open and adjust according to the users’ needs with a few clicks on the smartphone.
Opendesk Buro offers an office desk that has a fixed cloud storage space for those sitting at the desk with their laptops or smart devices, thereby creating smart workplaces. Thus, employees can use a unique code to view information on the cloud at different levels of access.
In the future, the intersection between IoT and the furniture segment is expected to offer endless possibilities for enhanced functionality and user comfort.
Mobile Technology Is Taking the Furniture Domain by Storm
An increasing number of shoppers are using their mobiles to browse websites and shop their favorite brands. The e-commerce trends for 2018 reveal, in the past six months 62 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. have made a purchase using their mobiles.
Several mobile apps allow customers to take a virtual tour of the furniture showroom and choose products as per their convenience. This technology is not only transforming customer experience, but also reducing paperwork, enabling the sales team to focus on customer service.
Thus, leading furniture and e-commerce stores are riding on the mobile technology bandwagon and creating cloud-based virtual showrooms and mobile apps that make it easier for customers to assess a product compared to plain images.
Brick-and-mortar furniture store owners understand that increasing their online presence using responsive websites, innovative mobile applications, and social media can boost their customer engagement strategy, thereby improving their bottom line.
VR and AR Are Improving Customer Shopping Experience
The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is not only restricted to the gaming and entertainment industry. The ability of these immersive technologies to combine virtual elements with the real world makes them highly relevant to the world of furniture and home fixtures.
Aside of enabling them to tour the store without actually visiting it, virtual reality assists customers in planning their entire interior décor by merely wearing a VR headset. This helps customers create a living space with furniture and fixtures that adhere to a unified interior design.
Augmented reality is disrupting the furniture domain by enabling customers to virtually see how a specific piece of furniture will look in their room or complement other fixtures.
Thus, AR enables potential buyers to upload images of their homes and virtually test different types of furniture, thereby helping them make an informed buying decision.
AI-Controlled Furniture Is the Latest Buzz Word
Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are revolutionizing the furniture industry with their ability to perform complex functions, such as manufacturing, merchandising, customer self-service, logistics, visual search, and finance in an efficient manner without the need for human intervention.
Visual search is particularly beneficial to the home furniture domain as it helps customers look for their favorite products without having to recall their names. Visual search engines are powered by AI, making it possible for customers to look for furniture made from different types of wood in different designs by just entering their reference image into the visual search bar.
Whether it’s for saving space or to enhance user comfort, robotics is another technology that’s making way in the furniture industry.
For instance, interior designers are employing modular mechatronics to offer a range of space-saving solutions, like retractable beds and desks, and configurable closets and cabinets for homes and offices.
Similarly, ThreadRobe is an automated closet powered by an internal robotic system that sorts and hangs unfolded clothes and renders them wrinkle-free.
Technology firms are coming up with innovative AI-controlled furniture that retracts to the ceiling and creates floor space. With robotics and AI finding their way into the furniture world, the sky is the limit.
Modern technology is making it easy for furniture makers to offer products and services that match customer needs and expectations. The technologies discussed in this post are expected to revolutionize the way furniture is marketed, bought, and used.