Furniture design visualization can empower in-store experience and help the offline stores reclaim their greatness. Moreover, reaching shoppers through the language of visual creativity is a way to respectfully assist them in their purchase decisions.
Counterintuitive as it may sound, offline retail as a whole beats its online counterpart, having growing 7 times faster in 2016. According to Forbes, 2019 saw some of the major online furniture retailers going multichannel and opening what they call Offline Experience Centers. In the furniture sector, 80% of sales still happen in stores, although experts do warn that having a multichannel presence will be essential for retail survival by 2022. Shoppers might find it easier to finish their purchase online, but the desire to “experience” their furniture before buying will still be there.
The online retailers are aware of this need for reality check perfectly well. They compensate by introducing stunning 3D furniture images and empowering it with virtually rendered interiors with particular furniture pieces in use. Unless the shopper is a trained designer, imagining an item of choice in a full set interior is a hard task. Interior images, that are often used by e-commerce retailers, are an effective solution, and therefore sell well. Truth is, virtually designed images might outperform the looks of actual furniture items. This fact can easily play against a brick-and-mortar retailer unless that retailer taps into the furniture design visualization themselves.
The in-store experience is what matters when a decision to buy or not buy is being made. Yet, a smart retailer will utilize the available additional levers to empower shoppers’ process of decision-making. There are 5 reasons why brick-and-mortar furniture stores are beginning to place growing importance on furniture design visualization. It all comes down to enhancing the customer experience. Let’s see how!
#1. CGI for Stunning Visuals on the In-Store POS Materials
Furniture stores can be multi-departmental and big, cozy boutique-style ones, or something in between those two. In-store navigation and product hints, as well as tasteful visual materials, communicating special offers or new collections — these are important despite the size of the shop. Often the smaller the store, the more important it is to direct the shoppers exactly to where they might find what they are looking for.
A big store has departments and large smartly laid-out space. It’s a great practice to ensure steady navigation and make sure visitors understand the scope of the store and where they should go to get what they need. It might be well advised to catch their attention, let us say, in the department with kitchen chairs and tables, letting them know there are new designer couches three departments down the road. Hence, a furniture design visualization is the perfect solution for creating visuals, powerful enough to enhance an already rich in-store experience.
The same applies to small boutique-style furniture shops, the ones that typically have one-two big rooms full of unique pieces, laid out in a sort of creative disorder that is charming but might be hard to navigate. Here furniture visualization might be used for in-store visuals communicating the various interior design pieces that can be found here.
#2. Furniture 3D Visualization to Promote the Upcoming Collection
Let’s imagine a furniture producer that makes rustic wooden furniture, designed to reflect modern minimalistic styles. The furniture is in demand, in fact, the producer has several stores, works with interior designers and on corporate orders for restaurants and coffee shops. One day, after visiting an international furniture design fair, he decides to introduce an altogether different line of interior items, made out of cement. They are stunning chairs, flower pots, sink tanks, modernist buddha busts, etc. These items go perfectly well with the producer’s minimalistic positioning, but it’s impossible to explain the coolness of the future collection without realistic high-quality product images.
Here is where furniture design visualization comes handy and becomes the solution for enhancing future sales. The seller’s options are vast – virtually rendered pictures can come in various shapes and forms and communicate every tangible and emotional benefit of the product. For example, a cut-away shot will communicate production methods and materials used, while a hero shot is great to show furniture items in context, so shoppers can envision themselves using it. Close-up 3D images will show the product from various angles, answering practical design inquiries, such as “how does this sink fix to the wall” or “what are the eyes of buddha made of”.
#3. Furniture Design Visualization for Marketing Materials
Whether it’s an in-store POS promo, a website, an electronic catalog, imagery in social media — no matter the channel, stunning images make or break an advertising campaign or marketing communications. Especially so when a given business’ essence can be broken down to product design, at least from a shopper’s viewpoint.
There are multiple ways of using marketing materials inside a furniture store. Creative upselling posters that show how different items from the store can play together. For example, a shopper coming to get a coffee table might be urged to buy a rug, a couple of chairs and a decorative art piece — all because these products were ideally set up and visualized at an in-store poster. 3D visualization for furniture outperforms set up photoshoots, as it allows to place furniture within various interiors that look and feel real, but that would be too pricey to set up in real life.
#4. Furniture Design Rendering to Place Furniture in Context
“How will this bookshelf look in my home?” or “How can I accommodate this bookshelf I love into an interior?” are questions most of the shoppers ask in their minds when looking at a furniture product they consider buying. Fashion retailers have figured out that total looks and relevant contexts for their visuals sell best. So did furniture retailers, having figured that most of the furniture pieces “speak” best to their potential owners from the visuals placing those pieces within professional interior set-ups.
A furniture design visualization artist will draft full interior images, where furniture items look especially enticing. They will make sure interiors put together to form a perfect style with a piece of furniture in mention, bringing out item’s advantages and the level of attractiveness that can not be realized outside of context. Few people these days have a trained enough imagination to swiftly and vividly envision how an item will look inside an interior. Ready-made CG visuals placed in-store will serve as powerful levers for shoppers’ positive purchase decisions, as well as help them have a positive experience with the product further on.
#5. 3D Visualization as a Base for In-Store AR/VR Experience
Oh, the wonders of technology and the expansion of experience they may provide in sales! No wonder furniture retailers, both in mass market and exclusive niches, use AR and VR technology to turn shopping experience into a fascinating journey. Such an investment in tech proved to be effective for growing sales.
IKEA is a forerunner in introducing AR technology, mostly through several applications they developed, which allow shoppers to visualize chosen furniture products in their homes before placing a purchase. Italian furniture retailer Natuzzi went even further, they launched their so-called Augmented Stores, a project they promise to roll out in every store worldwide by 2022. It presumes the installation of a special AR box within a showroom, enabling customers to experience a liking of their home set out with furniture of their choice.
Company officials see the project as an opportunity to reduce sales closing ratio by one-third, as well as to carry less in-store inventory. AR/VR technology might be pricey, but appears to be a feasible investment. Stocking the technology with images, however, can be done effectively and at decent costs. Here is where furniture design visualization becomes a hit. It allows creating realistic 3D models of each and any furniture or decorative piece for all kinds of AR/VR tools.
If you run or market a brick-and-mortar furniture retailer, you probably have realized by now that e-commerce is biting away from your pie. Not being able to offer their shoppers a hands-on experience with furniture items, e-commerce tapped into the power of 3D furniture visualization and introduced somewhat immersive and at times even interactive visuals. This turned their disadvantages into some sort of strength.
The good news is that offline retail, although losing to e-commerce, is not going anywhere! It still is growing at attractive speeds and holding its fair share of the market. Now comes the time to introduce e-commerce best practices into the offline furniture parlors. Tapping into 3D furniture visualization will open up a world of opportunities for a brick-and-mortar furniture retailer. It’s a way to give shoppers a new level of experience, to help them visualize their dream, to make a purchase decision faster and easier.
CGIFURNITURE has a professional team of artists to produce stunning 3D imagery to go into your catalogs, to be displayed in the shop, and at your social media. Contact us swiftly and we’ll be happy to provide high-quality 3D rendering services!