Ashley Furniture’s latest in-store investments are earning it a reputation as one of the more forward-thinking brands in its industry.
After announcing the deployment of Concierge clienteling software into its stores across the country, the furniture retailer is adding additional technology into its stores to build a better customer experience. According to Retail Customer Experience, the company is developing an augmented reality app to drive a new in-store experience, and a separate in-store virtual reality experience is expected to launch in 2017.
The new AR and VR solutions will enable shoppers to virtually stand in a freshly designed living space, adding, changing or moving around Ashley furniture products to help them decide how to best plan and arrange their new purchases.
The company noted in a release that consumers typically buy furniture one every five years, so it’s important to help them make a solid decision that they’ll be happy with for years to come. The inclusion of AR and VR technology was designed with this need in mind.
Continued In-Store Evolution
It may not have had a reputation for innovation in the past, but Ashley Furniture has had a busy 2016 where in-store technology investments are concerned. Already, the company took steps toward building a winning strategy when it enlisted Mad Mobile’s award-winning clienteling platform to provide more efficient and effective customer service in all of its national store locations.
That alone would have been an accomplishment for the furniture retailer. Instead, the company continued to press on in hopes of building a customer experience that beats the efforts of all of its competitors. Given the choice between keeping pace with the competition and raising the bar for in-store innovation, Ashley Furniture chose the latter.
Meanwhile, Ashley Furniture is making a direct appeal to consumers through its recent tech investments. As customer expectations rise, with shoppers expecting retailers to use mobile technology to build a better in-store experience, their patience is on the decline.
Consumers are eager for stores to address their demands, and early adopters are likely to earn the good graces of shoppers who understand that consumer sentiment is the driving force of in-store change.