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AR App Testing Implemented by John Lewis

05 February 2020 - 15:31 by Mike Price

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Customers of department store chain John Lewis could soon make use of an app that harnesses augmented reality (AR) to demonstrate what home furnishings will look like in situ before they are purchased.

Internet Retailing reports that a trial of the Virtual Sofa service is being rolled out over the next few weeks and will be offered to anyone who has the firm’s own iOS application, so long as their device is up to date with the latest version of Apple’s software.

A total of 123 sofas are integrated as part of the feature, with each being chosen from John Lewis’s list of top sellers. By pointing their preferred iPhone or iPad at places in their home, the app will then use AR to overlay the sofa on the space, allowing people to get a precise idea of how it will fit and how it will look in the context of the room as a whole.

This will hopefully allow customers to avoid making the wrong decisions when ordering sofas via safe shopping online, which will improve satisfaction levels while also reducing the number of returns that John Lewis has to process.

Of course, John Lewis is not the only retailer to be dabbling with the benefits of AR, as Ikea has also offered a similar feature for the past year, and clothing site ASOS has its own tool in the works which will make it possible to ‘try on’ fashion garments virtually before customers have to commit to a sale.

It makes sense to give consumers the ability to test out high-value products using AR and will likely lead to more sales, so hopefully this is a trend that more retailers will adopt once John Lewis and a handful of other pioneers have proved its usefulness.