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Harness the Power of AI, AR, and VR for Home, Garden, and Furniture Sites

Home, Garden, and Furniture Technology Blog

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the impact technology has on businesses — it’s that those that use it get ahead and those that don’t get left behind.

This is especially true for brands that sell home, garden, and furniture products. 

According to Statista, the majority of these consumers prefer to shop in person, and many of them are apprehensive about buying products like home furnishings online. This means finding innovative ways to attract online customers is more important than ever.

In today’s world, using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) is one of the best ways home, garden, and furniture brands can set themselves apart.

Not only can they drastically improve the customer experience, but they also increase back-end efficiencies — saving you time and money.

Create custom experiences that reach more shoppers with artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence in ecommerce.

Over the past few years, AI has taken the world by storm with tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney. As these types of resources continue to develop, we’ve seen more and more brands jump on the AI bandwagon and use them to their advantage.

Are we surprised by this? Not at all. AI provides several benefits to ecommerce brands. With this technology, companies can create more personalized experiences, enhance search capabilities, and create branded imagery.

To generate online sales, home, garden, and furniture brands need to optimize their sites for conversions with the power of AI.

Personalization with AI.

Today’s online consumers crave a seamless and custom shopping experience. Tools like Klevu use AI to strategically merchandise items, generate personalized product recommendations, and enhance search capabilities based on a shopper’s site interaction.

With Klevu’s AI search, brands can improve their search-led conversions by 52%. On top of this, the app’s AI product recommendations can increase revenue by up to 6%.

Gardening brand Sarah Raven has seen a 52% revenue increase since implementing Klevu AI on-site search into its BigCommerce store. If a shopper searches for gardening tools, AI will present results based on their site browsing history.

AI for search engine optimization.

Generative AI can produce site copy that’s SEO optimized, helping your online store reach new shoppers. Tools like BigAI Copywriter create product descriptions that match your brand’s voice — giving customers a shopping experience that’s unique to your business. 

This is also beneficial for home, garden, and furniture brands that offer more technical items — like HVAC equipment — since it ensures descriptions are clear and concise while still being optimized for SEO.

Image creation with AI.

Tools such as ARize help companies generate imagery that aligns with their branding, creating a uniform site aesthetic that attracts shoppers. AI imagery resources can create anything from product photos to website headers with minimal effort — saving companies time they can reallocate.

On top of this, AI imagery tools create a professional and consistent look that eliminates the need for a photographer or graphic designer — saving brands money.

Provide the best customer experience with augmented reality

Augmented reality defined.

AR is an emerging technology that lets users overlay items on top of what’s viewed through their device — “augmenting” the world around them.

If you use social media tools like Snapchat, odds are you’ve already had your fair share of experience using AR. This technology creates the filters that let you turn into a dog, become a 3D animation, and change your hair color. 

While social media filters are a great way to promote your brand, there are other uses of AR rising in popularity among home and garden retailers — particularly, preview placements.

Preview placements on BigCommerce.

With preview placements, brands can create personalized shopping experiences that give customers the confidence to buy online. 

This feature lets shoppers take any item from your online store and use their mobile device to overlay it in the area of their home where they’d like to place it. Preview placements bring a whole new dimension to personalized shopping and provide a seamless way for consumers to see how a product looks in their house without having to purchase it.

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Brands like UPLIFT Desk have already gotten a jump on using AR. The company leverages the BigCommerce app Threekit to create 3D configurations of their desks that shoppers can customize and view in their homes by simply scanning a QR code.

Offering customers this unique opportunity shows them you care — which builds trust and brand loyalty. On top of this, it minimizes returns since shoppers can get a better look at products before they buy.

Replace the need to shop in-person with virtual reality

Let's talk virtual reality.

While often confused with AR, VR provides a completely different custom shopping experience since it fully immerses users in a virtual environment.

A true VR experience requires a headset like the Apple Vision Pro or Meta Quest 3. However, 360-degree interactive content can provide a similar experience designed to transport users to another reality.

There are many ways to use VR, and we’re seeing more and more home, garden, and furniture brands create virtual showrooms with this technology.

Virtual showrooms on BigCommerce.

A virtual showroom is an interactive online replication of a brick-and-mortar store. This feature lets shoppers sort through items as if they were browsing in person and even talk with a consultant.

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Tradelink — a BigCommerce brand based out of Australia that offers kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room products — has taken advantage of VR for years. The site offers virtual showrooms that fully replicate two of their two brick-and-mortar stores, which creates a seamless shopping experience for online customers.

The brand powers its virtual environment with Matterport, a company that specializes in creating interactive digital tools. While not required, shoppers are encouraged to connect their VR headsets to get the best experience.

This feature lets Tradelink provide shoppers with a unique experience that helps them feel comfortable replacing in-store shopping with a more innovative online approach.

Additionally, offering this futuristic shopping tool makes consumers more likely to share their user experience with peers through conversations and social media, which can increase online visitors and sales.

The final word

Now that in-person shopping is back in full swing, it’s more important than ever for home, garden, and furniture ecommerce brands to find new ways to entice shoppers.

Staying up-to-date with the latest technology and using it to your advantage is key to maximizing conversions and giving customers the confidence they need to buy from your online store.

As more home, garden, and furniture sites incorporate technologies like AI, AR, and VR, shoppers will expect brands to offer features that use these developments. Get ahead and start exploring different ways you can use these technologies to set your online store apart. 

Check out our BigCommerce app store to find tools that can easily integrate these technologies into your ecommerce site.

Annie Laukaitis

Annie is a Content Marketing Writer at BigCommerce, where she uses her writing and research experience to create compelling content that educates ecommerce retailers. Before joining BigCommerce, Annie developed her skills in marketing and communications by working with clients across various industries, ranging from government to staffing and recruiting. When she’s not working, you can find Annie on a yoga mat, with a paintbrush in her hand, or trying out a new local restaurant.