Amazon.com Inc – the online retailing giant – could be reportedly opening a new augmented reality and virtual reality stores for selling furniture. Already, the e-commerce giant has taken several steps in its delivery business through drone tech – Amazon’s Prime Air drone completed its first US public delivery just recently – and now, the online retailer is stepping towards the VR and AR tech.
Helping users with AR and VR tech
A new report by the New York Times says that the e-commerce giant is looking at a possibility of opening an augmented reality-based appliance and furniture stores. The users, if the AR and VR-based furniture stores actually open, would be able to use virtual or augmented reality to see how different furniture and appliances would look in their home.
This will make it easier for the consumer to select an item and buy it. They would not be confused about the appearance, color or design of the product, or how the product would look in a certain part of their home.
The report, which cited a source briefed on the discussions, claims that AR and VR are being explored as a possible feature of several homewares stores. If the online retailer is successful in opening AR and VR homewares stores, then it would make things difficult for the rivals. Drew Herdener – an Amazon spokesman – told the Times, “We are always thinking about new ways to serve customers, but thinking is different than planning.”
Amazon.com not the first retailer to think about this
The e-commerce giant is not the first online retailer to think about virtual reality and augmented reality in stores. Mashable notes that some Lowe’s stores in the US already use virtual reality in what they call their “Holoroom How To” set-ups. An HTC Vive is used to show prospective consumers how to use the products for home improvement projects. Also, Lowe’s is promoting an augmented reality-based app to assist consumers in navigating their way through its stores.
Amazon.com Inc is also considering an electronics store, similar to Apple shops in concept. Though Amazon’s bookstores already sell some of its products, these shops will put full focus on the hardware like Echo speakers and Prime Video.
Amazon.com Inc is just trying to diversify its retail offering through new technologies. It opened physical bookstores in 2015, and Amazon-Go grocery store in 2016. The grocery store concept allowed consumers to pick whatever product they want and walk out the doors, while sensors and scanners detect the product selected and charge them.