Amazon continues to invest deeper in furniture. The latest example is a new “Showroom” tool that lets customers visualize various couches and other furnishings, including those sold by Amazon’s private label brands.
TechCrunch spotted “Showroom,” a new feature available on Amazon.com and the Amazon shopping app. Users can change the color of the wall and floor inside the virtual room, and then swap out different furniture items. Product descriptions are available on the right-hand scroll, and unsurprisingly Amazon makes it easy to add items to your shopping cart. Showroom also lets customers save “rooms” for later.
Amazon launched a similar tool in November 2017, releasing an augmented reality feature for iPhone users that let customers place virtual versions of products into real-world scenes before buying, allowing them to see how that toaster or coffee maker will look on the kitchen counter when the real one arrives.
That same month, Amazon launched two private label furniture brands: Rivet and Stone & Beam. This past October, it launched its third, called Ravenna Home.
In September of last year, Amazon rolled out a new recommendation feature called Scout that shows images of products in categories including furniture, home decor, lighting, kitchen & dining, patio, and bedding.
The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2017 that Amazon was building at least four huge warehouses specifically to handle bulky items.
Amazon is battling others such as Wayfair, Williams-Sonoma, and others vying to take market share of a $50 billion U.S. online furniture industry, one of the fastest growing online product categories, according to eMarketer. It’s a unique category, given the complexities around delivering furniture compared to other goods sold on the internet.
Amazon rival Walmart is also paying attention to this area, as it launched a new home shopping site last year.
There are a bevy of smaller startups also using technology to help people visualize in-home products. Seattle startup Spruce Up, a spin out of Madrona Venture Labs launched last year and uses machine learning to make personalized interior design more accessible. In 2017, Los Angeles-based Hutch raised a $10 million round led by Zillow Group for its AR-powered home design app.