Amazon is further investing in experiential retail, this time by rolling out a show digital showroom feature called Amazon Showroom.

The interactive program allows customers to create their own virtual living rooms. Customers can select wall and floor color and fill the space with selections from a vast online inventory of sofas, lamps, rugs, coffee tables, art and more — all of which are part of Amazon’s private-label furniture and home decor lines. Customers can buy the furniture they’ve placed in their room (or even add the whole room to their shopping cart) or save their rooms for the future.

For shoppers, the program is a helpful stepping stone between visiting a brick-and-mortar retailer and buying online, sight unseen — a risky proposition when considering a large purchase like a couch. Amazon Showroom can help address some of the common questions that come with furniture sizing: how a sofa looks with existing furniture, whether a coffee table is the right size for the space, if a piece of art works with the wall color, etc.

Such technology would readily translate to the pool and spa industry — it's easy to imagine a customer designing the backyard the same way, selecting a hot tub, patio set, chaise lounge, etc. (While such programs exist for builders, few options are available to consumers.)

The launch of Amazon Showroom underscores the importance of experiential retail in the modern marketplace, a concept pool and spa retailers and manufacturers continue to embrace. Just a few examples include:

  • Structure Studios, which has created an augmented reality program that helps builder show potential clients how a pool could look in their own backyard.
  • Imagine Backyard Living, a hot tub dealer with a showroom of six vignettes, each packed with backyard living products like furniture, decor and more. These comprehensive displays help customers view a hot tub not as an appliance, but as part of an engaging outdoor room.
  • Bullfrog Spas’ virtual reality program, an immersive storytelling experience that details the brand and what makes it different from the competition. In addition, Bullfrog has a companion program that uses virtual reality to allow customers to design their own Bullfrog models.

 

 

Cailley Hammel is Managing Editor of AQUA Magazine.