3-D technology can help grow online home goods sales, Wayfair co-founder says

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Niraj Shah, chief executive officer of Wayfair, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 10, 2019 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
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Wayfair expects advancements in three-dimensional technology to improve the customer experience and bring more shoppers online, chipping away at brick-and-mortar sales.

This is largely why the online home goods retailer continues to experiment and invest in technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality, which can make it easier for potential customers to visualize products in their homes.

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“AR/VR is certainly a space we’ve been playing with for quite a while now and we do believe that over time it can have a meaningful impact in terms of making it easier to shop for your home from your home,” said Steven Conine, co-founder and co-chairman of Wayfair, at the Jefferies Virtual Consumer Conference on Tuesday.

The company thinks this technology could be useful in enhancing user experience even in brick-and-mortar locations. Wayfair is already experimenting with a brick-and-mortar pop-up shop, which features a design services team that can help customers furnish their spaces.

“Ideally, I think at some point in the future every home in the U.S. will have a 3-D model associated with it,” Conine said. “We could have a design services team in our store who could give you a very personalized experience and actually help you visualize products in your space, help guarantee that it will fit, it will flow well and it’s the look and style you want.”

Wayfair saw a surge in sales during the pandemic as consumers bought office furniture to work at home and decor to brighten up their living spaces as they spent more time there.

Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah said he is not worried about seeing a decline in sales because of the nature of home improvement.

“There’s a never-ending list of projects or products you want for your home,” Shah said. “There is always something you are in the market for.”

The company’s stock has risen more than 36% this year putting its market cap at just above $32 billion.

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