Amazon considering VR and AR applications in furniture and appliances retailing

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Online retail giant Amazon is considering experimenting with virtual and augmented reality in physical retail premises, The New York Times has reported.

The US paper says that Amazon is exploring the idea of creating stores to sell furniture and home appliances – ‘the kinds of products that shoppers are reluctant to buy over the internet sight unseen’, The NY Times suggests.

Amazon has considered using forms of augmented or virtual reality to allow people to see how furniture and appliances will look in their homes, The NY Times adds, with the products then being delivered to a customer’s house.

Responding to the news, Fujitsu UK and Ireland retail and hospitality managing director Rupal Karia commented: “Once again Amazon is showing that it is looking to disrupt the retail market, this time looking to expand its physical offering and establish stores for appliances and furniture. Although AR and VR is nothing new, the idea of using them in-store currently isn’t widely adopted.

“It’s a sign that Amazon is yet again finding ways to differentiate itself by offering customers an experience they won’t get in any other store, driving purchases by allowing shoppers to interact with products in new and innovative ways.”

He added: “Now that the level of customers’ expectations is at an all-time high, retailers need to find ways to match this challenge, while ensuring they are differentiating themselves from their competitors. Shopping instore is now very much experiential, and by bringing innovative new ways to shop retailers can enhance that experience by making it more interactive and digitally enabled. Those that do will be the retailers that stand out against a noisy retail landscape.”

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