- This innovation allows customers to virtually experience furniture in their home before shopping
- UAE and KSA customers with compatible iPhones can virtually view furniture dimensions, see how products look from different angles and share photos with their friends and family
- This Omni-Channel initiative is part of the Group’s commitment to offering a seamless customer experience in-store, online and on apps
Dubai, UAE: October 02, 2017: Landmark Group, the Middle East’s leading retail and hospitality conglomerate, today announced the launch of Augmented Reality (AR) on the Home Centre iPhone app. This innovative new experience allows shoppers to virtually preview furniture in their space before they shop. Through AR, the Group aims to offer customers in the UAE and KSA a better, richer and more useful shopping experience.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to launch Augmented Reality or AR as a magical and incredible new feature for our Home Centre iPhone users!” says Savitar Jagtiani, Chief Digital Officer, Landmark Group. “This cutting-edge technology significantly improves the online shopping experience by allowing our customers to virtually experience how Home Centre furniture will look in their homes before making a buying decision. While previewing in AR, virtual products can be rotated, moved around, measured and shared with friends and family by taking a screenshot of how they look in a space. We love how useful this feature is and believe our customers will too.”
On the Home Centre iPhone app, products where AR is available carry a special green AR cube icon. Once users tap on one of those products, they can choose to view it in AR wherever they are by simply pointing their iPhone to the floor. Users can then tap to place the furniture and reposition it, view its dimensions, check if it matches with other décor elements in the room, examine it from different angles, walk around it and send screenshots to their friends and family. With this convenient interactive feature, customers can now make more informed and contextual furniture-buying decisions.
Médéric Payne, CEO, Home Centre said, “In today’s changing consumer environment, this innovation offers customised solutions and gives our customers greater confidence in their furniture purchases. This is an extension of our promise to offer a more customised shopping experience and we believe these type of developments will contribute in revolutionising the way people shop for their homes and further strengthen brand loyalty.”
This new AR experience was built in-house by the Group’s Web Team using ARKit, a brand new Augmented Reality developer’s kit launched with Apple’s newest operating system, iOS 11, at the Apple Special Event on September 12th, 2017. A core group within the Web Team worked for 3 months leading up to the event to hone the AR experience and launch it on the same day that iOS 11 is released worldwide.
According to a report by Markets and Markets, the Augmented Reality market was valued at USD 2.39 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 61.39 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 55.71%. The report also states that one of the major drivers of this growth is the increase in demand for AR in the retail and E-commerce sector. A survey conducted by ISACA has revealed that 60% to 70% of consumers see clear benefits in using AR devices in their daily life and at work.
With this pioneering innovation, Home Centre becomes one of the first retail brands in the world to offer customers the opportunity to experience a product in its intended setting before making the decision to purchase. This launch is in-line with the Group’s drive to take its Omni-Channel strategy to the next level with the sole focus of genuinely improving customer experience. Other customer-friendly features offered on the Group’s E-commerce sites and apps include Scheduled Deliveries for Home Centre that offers customers the convenience of selecting a preferred date and time to receive their furniture; Click & Collect; the Shukran loyalty programme and Returns to Store for cash refunds, to name a few.
Home Centre customers can experience AR on Apple devices including iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and later by upgrading to iOS 11.