Online furniture store made.com is attempting to “connect the offline with the online” after installing technology that allows customers to digitally interact with physical products in its showroom.
By using hand held tablets in its London showroom, consumers are able to scan visual NFC tags, such as images or symbols, to get more information about the product and create a list of items they are interested in.
Shoppers are then offered the ability to receive the list via email with links – click through is around 45 per cent – which gives made.com the opportunity to gather all the digital data on its consumers.
Annabel Kilner, made.com UK country manager, told The Drum that idea behind the technology, created by CloudTags, is to enhance the consumer experience.
“Primarily it’s about what will help customers. We are a pure play retailer and most of customers – over 95 per cent – are very happy buying online without coming to the showroom, but as a business growing at the fast rate that we are we want to attract customers that are more anxious so the more tools we can give them the better.”
The trial, which launched around two weeks ago, is aimed at seeing an uplift in sales after showroom visitations. Currently 50 per cent of customers that come to the physical store will use one of the eight tablets while there, a number which Kilner believes will rise when the number of tablets increases.
She added that the nature of the showroom, which is in an office building requiring an access code sent via email, allows the retailer to effectively track its consumers.
Made.com is also investing in other technology to blur the lines between physical and digital with the introduction of a virtual reality app.
“[The app] allows uses to put the furniture virtually into their home. So they can they print out a marker or collect one from the showroom, put in into the space they’re considering, and see virtually how that would look. They can then go on to share that with their friends via social networks or email.
“We’re all about finding innovative tech tools that will help our customers to make a very informed purchasing decision.”