Wayfair Inc. has souped-up its shopping app with augmented reality technology for consumers who own the new ASUS ZenFone AR smartphone and the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro smartphone.
This is the first time that the web-only home furnishings giant has combined its WayfairView augmented reality app into its shopping app. Previously, consumers who viewed products in augmented reality were redirected to the Wayfair shopping app to check out.
“We want to make it as fast and easy as possible for our customers to find the furniture and decor they love, envision it in their homes and purchase–all in one app,” says Shrenik Sadalgi, engineering lead at Wayfair Next, the company’s research and development team that developed WayfairView.
Here’s how it works: A consumer downloads the Wayfair app on the ZenFone and browses through products. Wayfair has 40,000 of its 8 million SKUs available in 3-D. If the product the shopper is looking at is available in augmented reality, she taps the 3D View in Room button on the product detail page. The app then launches the consumer’s camera. The shopper holds her smartphone up and points it at the area of her home where she might place the product. A few seconds after tapping the button, the product image downloads to her smartphone screen, and she can move the image around her smartphone screen with her finger to see it in a different location around the room. She can also tap an Add-to-Cart button and check out within the app.
The ASUS smartphone—which is manufactured by electronics manufacturer ASUSTeK Computer Inc. and costs $648—comes with Google Tango, a depth-sensing camera needed for Wayfair to display its products to-scale in augmented reality. Prior to this device, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro smartphone was the only other consumer smartphone that had Tango. Going forward, if a smartphone has augmented reality capability, the Wayfair View in Room feature will be baked into the shopping app, Sadalgi says.
Wayfair launched the augmented reality app in June 2016 and has gradually scaled the number of 3-D SKUs available to the 40,000 today. This is a significant increase from the 3,000 it launched with a year ago, and it’s a sizable increase from just three months ago when the retailer, in its first quarter earnings report, said it only had 25,000 SKUs in 3-D.
The retailer also uses the 3-D model product library for its virtual reality apps and to create images of furnished room without doing a photo shoot for Wayfair.com, Sadalgi says.
Consumers who purchase the ASUS ZenFone AR also receive a $25 Wayfair gift card. Wayfair’s virtual reality app IdeaSpace, which allows consumers to walk through rooms decorated with Wayfair products, also is available on the ZenFone.
It took Wayfair Next and the Wayfair’s mobile team about a month and a half to create this combined app, Sadalgi says.
Wayfair is No. 16 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500