Physical meets virtual at brand Wayfair’s Digital Design Studio
By Retail4Growth Bureau | May 04, 2023
Created as a collaborative effort between Wayfair’s R&D group and the Physical Retail, VM, Creative, 3D, and other teams, the brand’s new Digital Design Studio at Dedham, MA, in US, is an innovative merger of the online and offline shopping experience. Shrenik Sadalgi, Director of Research and Development at Wayfair, shares the details with Retail4Growth.
Wayfair Inc, one of the world's largest destinations for home, recently announced the launch of its Digital Design Studio (DDS), a patent-pending technology that brings the best of online and in-store shopping together. The Digital Design Studio is a kiosk that allows customers to create and interact with a variety of design layouts and experience products in a digital, 3D room at photorealistic quality.
Located in the Dedham, Massachusetts All Modern store, this pilot technology, planned and conceptualised as a truly omnichannel experience, will allow customers shopping in the store to experience the larger digital catalogue in life-like quality. Introduced in early April this year, DDS is in fact a photorealistic interactive experience that lets customers explore Wayfair’s endless catalogue by designing 3D furniture arrangements with product cards. As the company informs, creating this tool was a collaborative effort between Wayfair Next (the R&D group tasked with exploring various emerging tech use cases), Physical Retail, Visual Merchandising, Creative, 3D, and many other Wayfair teams.
Shrenik Sadalgi, Director of Research and Development at Wayfair, tells Retail4Growth while speaking about the initiative, “We are always experimenting with new ways to help our online and in-store customers find the best products for their homes. The Digital Design Studio is just one of the omnichannel experiences we are bringing to life for our customers. We have quite a large selection of products online that can’t all be in the physical store. This is one way of enabling customers to experience these products digitally in a more meaningful way.”
Indeed, the driving factor for DDS was the need to merge customers’ online and offline shopping to help them make the best possible decisions for their homes. The studio enables them to create interactive, three dimensional spaces, giving them an accurate depiction of what the furnishings look like in various configurations and lighting conditions. Customers shopping in-store can move and place furniture cards to create true to scale, virtual furniture arrangements. They can also 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.
Shrenik adds while speaking about how consumers respond to it, “Consumers are intrigued by technology, are engaging with it, and see the potential in it. As we learn more about how specifically consumers interact with it, we will refine and enhance it.”
Shrenik sums up, speaking about how such digital interventions will drive the future of home furniture shopping, “Wayfair believes that customer shopping preferences will drive the future of home furniture shopping. Both in-store and digital experiences have strong roles to play here. We’re looking at sweet spots where we can enhance the omnichannel experience making it as easy as possible for customers to move between digital and in-store to ensure customers can easily find what they need and purchase it.”