Amazon is currently exploring options to use virtual reality to sell furniture and home appliances. Amazon, the online retail giant, is seeking new ways to sell items that shoppers may be reluctant to buy unless they inspect them beforehand. Among these items are furniture and home appliances, items that shoppers would like to see, and at times experience, before they even consider purchasing. In order to satisfy these shoppers, Amazon is exploring the use of VR and augmented reality (AR) to let them experience these products. Using VR, shoppers may have a look at how the pieces of furniture and other related items may fit into their houses or apartments. Amazon will place the VR devices in specialized physical stores, making them showcases of the items for sale with the orders being delivered straight to the shoppers' homes.
Using augmented reality for previewing furniture is not new. An app from Pottery Barn, which is developed in collaboration with Google, provides an augmented reality preview on how a furniture may fit into the homes of the potential buyer. The app, called "3D Room View", saves buyers the trouble of asking somebody with an eye for matching home items just to make sure the furniture they want to purchase will fit in. For Amazon, however, the idea is to have a comprehensive fusion of technology through augmented reality, online shopping, and delivery with the strengths of brick-and-mortar stores.
Speaking of brick-and-mortar stores, this is not the first time that Amazon has tried its hand at physical stores. Amazon went back to its roots of book retailing with its Amazon Books, a chain of physical bookstores. The chain now has five stores and five more already under construction. Groceries are another field the retailer is already involved in and Amazon is clearly trying new ways to improve their grocery service. Among these attempts are convenience stores with no cashiers and stores structured to allow drivers to get their groceries without stepping out of their cars. India may also be a future target of Amazon's grocery dreams if reports are to be believed. There are also reports that Amazon has plans to open physical stores similar to Apple stores focusing on electronic devices and services provided by Amazon.