ARCADIA, Wisc. – Ashley Furniture has announced a new partnership with Marxent, a leading developer of virtual reality and augmented reality technology, in a strategy to enable consumers to create interior layouts and experience living spaces in 3D.
Specifically, the Wisconsin-based furniture giant will roll out augmented reality and virtual reality in its showrooms and company-owned store locations.
“Augmented and virtual reality are essential to our growth and vision for the future,” said Todd Wanek, Ashley’s president and CEO. “Our data shows that a combination of 3D visualization, seeing, touching and feeling actual products, combined with the consultation of our knowledgeable salespeople, will lead to a stand-apart customer experience that is location-flexible.”
Attendees of the 2016 Builders' Show experienced Marxent’s innovative VisualCommerce – a virtual products platform which can create entire 3D virtual and augmented showrooms.
Ashley has been working closely with Marxent and the company’s VisualCommerce platform to create and scale their product catalog and publish new 3D product experiences via AR and VR.
The company will also provide an AR shopping iPad app, which will help shoppers see how home furnishings fit into an existing space. They’ll also have in-store virtual reality ‘tech bars’, which will combine the iPad-based space configuration with a VR headset – allowing customers to design and visualize their own bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms.
Ashley’s goal is to produce a smooth process from room layout to virtual room, making it easier for customers choose and experience furniture pieces and configuration.
“We are committed to creating a seamless omnichannel customer experience and with Marxent, we found the platform and the partner who can deliver,” Wanek said.
“Ashley has a history of innovation and using technology to differentiate and create exceptional value for customers. Putting AR and VR at the center of the Ashley shopping experience makes sense for them as a growth strategy,” said Beck Besecker, CEO and co-founder of Marxent. “Their commitment to this vision is clear and we’re excited to be a part of Ashley’s future vision of retail.”
Ashley Furniture will begin implementing its VR and AR systems to company-owned store locations in 2017.