European design brand Made.com has adapted to growing digital demand by introducing a number of initiatives to improve customer experience and engagement.
These include the launch of its first 3D virtual showroom. With the help of VR headsets, shoppers can experience Made's Amsterdam showroom and explore its products in from every angle.
Opened in late 2019 and located above the Made showroom in the Dutch capital, the 80 sqm apartment has been furnished with a host of design-led furniture, lighting and home accessories from the brand’s latest collections.
The interactive showcase spreads across four rooms presents three key trends. As viewers move through the virtual space, they can click on a series of tags for individual stories behind the products, from design details to inspiration and designer collaborations. A complementary audio guide, led by Made's design director, Ruth Wassermann, is also available.
For a full VR experience, keen shoppers can pick up a Google Cardboard for free from one of Made's seven showrooms across Europe. Alternatively, on Instagram via a special augmented reality (AR) filter, fans can look through a portal into The Apartment, or switch to a 'selfie mode' where they will be virtually placed inside the space to explore each room in 360º.
MADE’s chief creative officer, Jo Jackson, says: “What we have experienced globally this year has resulted in many brands like ours completely rethinking the way in which we present our products and engage with our customers.
“Digital technology has become more important than ever in helping us stay connected, and the pandemic has made us – as a digital-first brand – work even harder to offer our audience something innovative and inspiring to experience.
“Our virtual apartment enables us to maintain a dialogue with our customers across the globe, while introducing our brand to a much wider fanbase beyond what a physical space can offer. For us, this is the start of something new and exciting, and we look to explore further activations that blend physical and digital experiences in the coming months.”
Meanwhile, an AI-powered ‘Shop your Photos’ tool allows customers to shop and find Made products based on their photos or Pinterest inspiration, while a 3D viewer enables customers to place products in their homes with the help of AR and overlay the dimensions of the furniture they are planning to purchase.
Partnered with RenovAI, MADE has also developed: Complete the Look, which uses technology to allow customers to switch out products in a room and get a feel for how different Made pieces look together; and Virtual Designer, similar to the above but more exhaustive. After answering a series of questions, the tool ascertains the customer's tastes and allows them to design their room with suggested colour palettes and Made furniture.