Australia is going big in furniture retail.
Revenue in the “Furniture & Homeware” segment totals a US$819m in 2018. It is expected to have an annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2022) of 11.3% giving in a market volume of US$1,256m in 2022.
With such upsurge in revenue in the furniture sector, it’s time you get the hang of the biggest trend that is going to prevail for furniture and hardware retail in 2018, “The Augmented Reality”.
Shopping for furniture can be a bit of a hassle but times have proved that a little Augmented Reality can help you pick the right furniture for yourself in no time.
In the 2016 fiscal year, IKEA, world’s largest furniture manufacturer generated a global revenue which exceeded 35 billion Euros.
It won’t be wrong to say the rise in reshares was escalated by its new augmented reality app that enables people experiment and share what pieces of furniture might work in a room.
From sofas to armchairs, all the furniture pieces in IKEA Place app are 3D and true to scale – implying customers might not need to visit the store at all and get their desired furniture right from their homes.
Making an app like IKEA with augmented reality characteristic might seem really expensive due to its technicality and novelty implication. But that’s not the case. Sure it becomes costly due to the AR feature, but its most of the features are customisable and can be handpicked according to your needs.
So, the objective of this article is to enlighten you with how much time, money and enhancements would it take to develop an app like IKEA for your furniture business so your customers can have a better understanding of their interiors and find their best fit in the furniture.
Let’s start with looking at various basic and outstanding features of the app:
IKEA app features
- 3D view of the items
- 360º degree view
- Media access
- Social media posting
- Elegant angle positioning
Other features of IKEA catalogue are:
- A number of given products
- A Detailed explanation of every product
- Elite-class design with items in the interactive entourage
- Smooth navigation through product classes
- Search and favoured choices
- References to every product page
- A gamut of languages available
How does IKEA app work?
After opening the app, a phone or tablet camera works to focus in on an orange cross to the bottom right of chosen product pages.
An icon will be visible on the device screen, which provides users access to the AR mode. The app then tells the user to close the printed version of the brochure and put it where the customer wishes to put the new furnishing. The roughly estimated dimensions of the virtual furniture are dependent on the size of this tangible, real-world catalogue of IKEA.
Go through the catalogue, pick the item (sofa, chair, lamp, table, etc.), switch to AR mode and see it on the device’s screen. Such items to some degree are responsive to the environment.
- AR objects can detect horizontal surfaces, so they don’t roam around
- Wide angle views, although not 360 degrees
The camera starts and a product outline surfaces in the frame. This can be rotated, shifted or replaced so as to make it look right, before assuring the choice from a scrollable list. Then, a virtual version of the new furniture, desk or bookshelf along with the room in the background is shown on screen.
Other AR Apps that can beat IKEA Market
Houzz is the interior decor app by the interior design and decorating company Houzz and, its app offers design and renovation ideas, furniture shopping and 3D imagery. The concept is the same as discussed above – place the furniture items through the AR app in a room before purchasing. There are approximately 300,000 items in the database, and since the app’s launch, the company says that it has been soaring sales and interaction. 50% of buyers who have bought furniture from the Houzz app used the AR app to review the items.
The name of this app speaks at lengths for itself. In addition to AR choices, AF provides a wide product data, of everything from models, shades and textures to designer details. The app enables its users to see and evaluate the chosen items with a “dimensioning feature” that helps to find a maximum size. You can also save configured objects or an entire furniture set or share it on your social media pages for your friends to review.
Here is an image that shows how you can move, scale and rotate your furniture in your space:
A US online furniture and decor retailer Wayfair started an augmented reality app project in 2016. They have been growing and improving it ever since with the help of Google’s ARcore. This AR app lets its customers look at digital images of furniture, and rotate them in different angles in real time as well. A wonderful benefit in terms of business benefits is Add-to-cart button that directs to the checkout page right away.
Lowe’s Vision app offers rich AR features to let its users put and design 3D layout in depth through the Tango platform and 2-camera Lenovo smartphones. Just with its beta version yet, Lowe’s partnership with Google Tango is planning to take augmented reality to a whole new level. The app also allows correct measurements with respect to the room dimensions.
Cost of Application Development
The design plays an important role in an app’s success. Users initially estimate the looks and then the functionality: how detailed and realistic furniture 3D images look, matters a little more than you think from the user’s perspective. An app similar to IKEA Place can take about 3-5 weeks depending on the developers you choose.
Hence you will need about 120 to 200 hours to make a design for your furniture app.
AR app design cost based on time : $14,000-$34,000.
The development procedure is the most significant stage of any project. To make an augmented reality mobile app like IKEA Place, you’d need to get in touch with some experienced developers who would use Google Tango for Android and ARKit for iOS.
Every additional feature as we understood in calculating the cost of an app, will add time to your schedule which consequently increases your expenses. IKEA Place doesn’t let users make purchases in the app which reduces the overhead to a huge extent.
The time required for the app’s features:
- A furniture brochure: 100-200 hours
- Virtual furniture framework with the flexibility to change item colours: 110-220 hours
- A potential to capture the photo of the placing: 10-20 hours
- Social channels posting: 20-40 hours.
Total time required: 240-480 hours.
App development cost: $32,000-$76,000.
Finding and removing bugs is the quickest stage compared to the design and coding itself. However, it doesn’t make this stage any less important. Testing an app like IKEA Place can take up to two weeks on average.
Taking into account that an average app developers hourly rate in Australia is $35, you will need to shed about $4000 on testing your AR app.
Total time required: 80 hours.
App development cost: $4,000.
Therefore, to get an augmented reality furniture app like IKEA Place developed, you will need at least 440 to 760 hours ( about 3-5 months).
And depending on that the development will cost you about $62,000 to $118,000. The total amount seems high, but the high-quality app and the seamless flow of your business are worth the expense.
Furthermore, to reduce your cost, you can consider hiring developers that offer you reasonable prices without compromising the quality standards.
How Can Furniture Businesses Benefit From Retail AR Apps?
A number of retailers, like IKEA and Amazon, pick AR technologies to go an extra mile in their marketing strategies focused on expanding their consumer base and increasing sales.
The AR technology creates a number of remarkable opportunities for furniture manufacturers and retailers. With AR, customers are able to preview their interiors with furnishings they haven’t even purchased. With the growing buzz about your Augmented Reality solutions to daily utilities, customers will definitely give it a try.
Staying ahead of the competition with AR, you can leverage following advantages from Augmented Reality app:
Retailers can show their products visually and interactively with AR tools that instinctively convince customers to buy them. A furniture store may provide their customers with the actual view of how a table of a bed might look like in their homes.
Winning the Markets
With such consistent leaps in technology as AR you can grow infinitely and be the brand that people love, winning the entire market. Offering creative shopping experiences lures the customers your way, indubitably.
Appealing to the Young Customers
Augmented reality apps are trending much more among the younger audience so why not leverage them to bring the legit business to your enterprise? And unlike Virtual Reality apps that require additional tools, AR is much more widely accessible, as there are millions of smartphone owners.
With an AR app, your consumers can fearlessly buy the furniture that fits in their homes. For instance, you can place a bookshelf in your room and check where it looks its best. Or see how a sofa set might look in brown or red colour. The risk of product return and logistical expenses is reduced.
New marketing opportunities
AR in itself is a big name and associating it with your business will give you a natural inclination in the market. Moreover, there will be a million ways of promoting, making creative ads your products.
You can offer product information, present new products and offer helpful 3D experiences to customers.
Hence, I don’t see a single reason as to why you shouldn’t start working for your own Augmented Reality App right now.
So get in touch with your developers today and fill in that missing spark in your business with an AR app.