Wayfair Inc. rolled out two new shopping tools within the last week—one that is tech-centered and another that is human-centered.
The home furnishings web-giant launched a “mixed reality” commerce experience with Magic Leap One, Creator Edition, which is a headset that looks like high-tech glasses that shoppers wear to view augmented reality objects.
The technology blends virtual reality, as a shopper wears a headset, and augmented reality, as the content the consumer sees is a mix of what is in front of her and digital objects. Wayfair’s new experience works on the glasses’ web browser called Helio.
The glasses, which start at $2,295, just started shipping last week, and there are a “limited number” available. Wayfair is a bookmark on the Helio browser, which bills itself as a “spatial computing web browser” that lets consumers pull 3D objects out of websites and into the physical world via augmented reality while wearing the glasses, according to the MagicLeap.com.
For Wayfair, that means a shopper can take the image of a chair out of the browser and place a 3D image of it in front of her in her living room. A shopper can move and rotate the chair around her living room, plus add more 3D furniture to design the entire space.
“We are thrilled about the prospect of using spatial computing platforms to deliver a best-in-class customer experience,” says Shrenik Sadalgi, director of next-gen experiences at Wayfair. “We’re helping customers love the space they live in. We’re excited to use computing that understands your space and works in the context of your space, to enhance your space.”
Besides using the mixed reality features, shoppers also can browse the web and purchase while wearing the glasses.
“Wayfair has always been on the forefront of leveraging next-gen technologies to transform the shopping experience for home and are constantly exploring new ways to deliver the best possible shopping experience for customers,” a Wayfair spokesman says.
Wayfair’s mixed reality shopping experience builds on several augmented and virtual reality apps that Wayfair has launched over the years. These experiences allow shoppers to view to-scale 3D furniture models in their home via a smartphone or view 3D Wayfair products on a virtual reality headset.
In addition to the mixed reality program, the web-only home furnishings giant this week said is has full rolled out its e-design platform, which it calls Design Services, where shoppers pay for an interior designer to design their home with Wayfair products.
Shoppers work on the phone and via online chat with an interior designer, who will discuss the shopper’s style, create a shopping list and review room concepts and designs. Shoppers can choose from the Lite Package for $79 and the Classic Package for $149, which also includes a 2D room design and a custom floor plan, plus longer time talking to the designer on the phone.
Wayfair is No. 13 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500.