Wayfair Launches In-Store Immersive Virtual Room Creation Technology
Wayfair has launched the Digital Design Studio, a patent-pending technology that aims to bring the best of online and in-store shopping together. The Studio is a kiosk that allows customers to create and interact with a variety of design layouts and experience products in a digital, fully 3D room with photorealistic quality.
The technology will debut at the Dedham, Mass. AllModern store, where it will allow customers to experience the larger digital catalog in lifelike quality while shopping in a physical location. Shoppers can move and place furniture cards to create true-to-scale virtual furniture arrangements, as well as move the camera to zoom in on the product, view the piece in a different fabric or finish or view the furniture from different perspectives.
“Experimentation and innovation with an eye on improving the customer experience is at the heart of everything we do at Wayfair,” said Fiona Tan, CTO of Wayfair in a statement. “Wayfair strongly believes in meeting our customers where they want to shop, whether online or in-person. The Digital Design Studio helps us execute on this omnichannel experience by making it easier for customers to find what they are looking for and ultimately have greater confidence and satisfaction in their purchase.”
The technology could help Wayfair on its path to profitability, though the retailer still has some work to do. Total net revenue for Q1 2023 was $2.8 billion, down 7.3% from Q1 2022, leading to a net loss of $355 million. Additionally, active customers totaled 21.7 million as of Q1’s end on March 31, a decrease of 14.6% year-over-year.
However, the retailer has been making improvements in areas that won’t be immediately reflected on the balance sheet. The retailer laid out its path to profitability in August 2022, when it laid off 870 corporate workers — about 5% of its global workforce — as part of a broader plan to better manage its expenses. The retailer has since worked to improve in three key areas:
- Thinning out management layers to enable team members to focus on execution;
- Aligning work better with the company’s strategic priorities; and
- Adjusting areas that have “simply grown faster than our current revenue trajectory can support.”
“Last August, we shared a roadmap laying out our path to profitability and we have been executing against that plan,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, Co-founder and Co-Chairman of Wayfair in a statement. “Through a focus on our three core initiatives of driving customer and supplier loyalty, nailing the basics and cost efficiency, we have made significant strides in improving our offering and customer experience, simultaneously reducing our cost structure while investing for future growth.”