The growth of the furniture market is expected to be fueled by the growing adoption of machine learning, data analysis, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). Advances in artificial intelligence will benefit furniture retailers and other businesses in several key ways.
The adoption of AI will allow them to process vast amounts of data and information much more quickly than humans can. This will help them identify patterns and trends that humans can miss. Artificial intelligence in retail has great potential to improve operations, save money, and increase sales. AI implementation requires a culture of openness to change, collaboration, and data-driven insights.
Regardless of how large or small your company is, you first have to encourage your staff to utilize data for decision-making. Efficacious teams of the future will be able to utilize data-driven technologies and analysis effectively.
The technology has made the personalization and customization of furniture very easy for e-commerce retailers. Business owners need to develop long-term relationships to continually build customer loyalty and further make a strong impression on the market. Over the past few years, the purchasing of furniture online has grown massively, with the pandemic accelerating this trend. ML is used to power recommendations that are displayed to users.
Companies are introducing a unique ‘Visual Search’ feature on the ecommerce portal, which allows them to suggest thematically and stylistically similar products to the customers based on the reference image uploaded by them. This technology uses AI to comprehend the content and the context of the reference image uploaded by the customer and returns the right shortlist of products based on the customer’s preferences.
People have always enjoyed online shopping, regardless of the pandemic. So, to enhance the overall furniture buying experience even further, companies have developed augmented reality to allow customers to shop from the comfort of their homes and experience the fun of furniture shopping. Companies are harnessing digital tools and technologies to create more captivating experiences for our customers and engage with them in the most meaningful, convenient and time-efficient ways.
Deployment of IoT (Internet of Things) and MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) enables tools and systems across factories to enhance speed and accuracy of manufacturing, eliminate delays, interruptions and errors, and impart clarity on timelines. These systems aid in project-wise material planning, production planning, tracking factory capacities and job-loads, production reporting and asset-level planning to augment production and operational efficiencies. This directly ensures that a customer receives the superior quality product, for the most optimum price, in the least possible time, and with visibility on the status of the order throughout.
In the furniture industry, a string of software systems will provide the pricing and BOQ (Bill of quantities) in real-time, pass the order to the least loaded manufacturing facility, line up raw materials, schedule the actual manufacturing and batch processing of the appropriate parts, pack and uniquely label the packages for dispatch to the customer, while the timelines and live order status is visible to all in the chain.
The author is Senior Vice President (B2C), Godrej Interio