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Natuzzi Rolls Out an Exclusive Augmented Store for Virtual Furniture Shopping

The Italian furniture brand Natuzzi has ushered in an era of advanced customer service by introducing an exclusive virtual reality shopping experience for their clientele. The brand’s Augmented Store has now become an integral part of its showroom at New York City Madison Avenue. It allows customers to access a digitally recreated version of their home in virtual reality, adorned with Natuzzi pieces.

Customers put on Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 headset to move around items and change colours and patterns. According to creative director Pasquale Junior Natuzzi, this virtual experience is as good as physical furniture display and therefore helps customers to develop an emotional connection with their choices. The company predicts that the level of engagement facilitated by the Augmented Store will help reduce the closing ratio of the brand by at least one-third. Further, it expects that introducing more such augmented stores worldwide by the end of 2020 will mean its physical stores can keep less inventory and consequently occupy lesser space. The reduced expenses and space requirements can increase the possibility of more number of stores.

Retail furniture giant IKEA as well as budding companies such as Opendesk also have experimented with augmented-reality shopping. For a fruitful AR experience, customers can even use a headset at home to see furniture pieces placed holographically into their actual environment and experiment with colours and textures.

Another AR feature, enables customers to look through a bird’s eye view at a holographic scaled model. However, Natuzzi aims to take a step further by offering a (Virtual Reality)VR experience that completely immerses the customer in a digital scenario. To recreate home in VR, Natuzzi makes use of photographs, measurements and CAD files, to produce a realistic 3D depiction. The primary focus, in this case, is on architectural elements such as floors, walls, ceilings, doors windows and other personalised decors. Natuzzi initiates this process before the customer arrives at the showroom and fully decorates the digital environment from its product catalogue to give their clients a beginning point as they arrive.

The goal is to forge a deep emotional connect and extend modern, white-glove customer solutions that keep people loyal to the brand. Pasquale Junior Natuzzi is also of the opinion that combining existing retail services and a range of technological facilities can provide an authentic immersive experience for their clients, which not only simplifies purchasing but also provides an enjoyable experience. Natuzzi teamed up with Microsoft and its mixed-reality partner Hevolus Innovation to create the Augmented Store.

Founded by Pasquale Natuzzi in 1959, the brand is Italy’s largest furniture house. The company has been innovating and developing under the leadership of Pasquale Junior, who is still in his twenties and assumed control of the company after his father, since last year. This year, Natuzzi launched its new and exclusive Ergo collection made out of recyclable and renewable materials. The pieces were designed by Ross Lovegrove, who commended Natuzzi’s style and zest for doing things differently.

 

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