Wayfair, the primarily online home retailer, has launched a Digital Design Studio at its AllModern brick-and-mortar location in Dedham, Massachusetts. The Digital Design Studio (DDS) is a photorealistic interactive experience allowing customers to explore the company’s catalog by designing 3D furniture arrangements with product cards.
“When shopping for furniture online on Wayfair, customers have access to a nearly endless selection of home furnishings,” states the company. “However, physical furniture stores have a limited selection of furnishings available to browse, constrained by the store’s showroom floorspace. The DDS presents shoppers at Wayfair’s physical stores with a novel way to browse and interact with Wayfair furnishings that are not on the showroom floor: they can view furniture in a different fabric and finishes or even put together small furniture arrangements.”
Here’s how the DDS works:
- When a customer walks up to the DDS, they’re met with a kiosk with a glass surface, a selection of product cards, and a screen that prompts them to place a card on the surface to start designing.
- The customer selects one of these product cards and places it onto the glass surface. The screen then changes as a photorealistic version of the product on the card is placed in a virtual modern room.
- As they place more cards on the table, and move and rotate the cards, they see the virtual scene update and the changes reflected on the screen.
- At this point, the customer may choose to use the experience to compare relative seat heights of multiple accent chairs or to design a living room arrangement. The customer can change the time of day by using special lighting cards, use the camera card to move the viewpoint around in the scene, and even switch out the background scene to better match their own home.
The Digital Design Studio was a collaborative effort between Wayfair Next – the company’s R&D group tasked with exploring various emerging tech use cases – Physical Retail, Visual Merchandising, Creative, 3D and other Wayfair teams, the company reports.
“The DDS is a pilot experience that we’re testing, so we’ll be monitoring how customers use it and constantly improving it,” states the company. “We can already see how it can be a way for customers to quickly mock up spaces and we envision a future where a customer can bring a picture of their home to the store and be able to design that home with Wayfair’s endless catalog.”