BusinessDay

Taeillo taps virtual reality tech to redefine furniture shopping

Taeillo, a furniture company based in Lagos capital, Ikeja has integrated digital tools including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality features in its tech-driven redefinition of furniture shopping experience in Nigeria.

The company is making an unusual shift from conventional walk-in stores to a digital showroom where clients can scroll through artistic and functional pieces of furniture from their mobile devices.

Solomon Akinsanya, Taeillo’s head of Marketing said the company aims to respond to a dynamic pool of audience that is fast changing to the new normal accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of its initial responses to how the pandemic has reshaped how people live and work was to design some two-piece furniture that enabled people to work efficiently from home.

Its next port of call has been to ease how people, especially the digital-savvy population, interact with their products, a move that cuts its cost of maintaining a physical outlet.

“With the AR feature on our website, you can sit in the comfort of your home, check out a piece of furniture and immerse it into your desired space to get an idea of how it matches your aesthetics. The VR headset on the other end, gives you an immersive virtual showroom experience” Akinsanya said, speaking during a panel session on the “Next Era of Digital Commerce in Africa” at the AfricaNXT conference.

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The session hosted by Taeillo covered the impact of digital tools such as AR, VR, Viral-worthy and strategic content for growth and user acquisition for brands within and across Africa.

Since the pandemic, brands across the globe have increasingly invested in digital alternatives to improve user experience, brand positioning and revenue increase.

For Taeillo, Akinsanya said the use of technology has helped to connect with customers across boundaries that will otherwise be unreachable through the adoption of mixed reality.

In the future, the company plans to acquire properties on Metaverse, the virtual universe being explored for the future of digital commerce.

At Bamboo, Oge Okonkwo, head of partnerships said digital technology has influenced expansion after launching in the 2020 outbreak.

People were able to trade in stock from the confines of their homes. And with content segmented to accommodate different categories of people, she said is able to understand customers better.

Products such as the Bamboo Breakdown have been tested in a product fitting exercise, helping people to understand investment and know what to invest in.

Edwin, editor-in-chief at Zikoko who was also speaking at the session stressed the role and choice of content is crucial for any e-commerce operator as content is the bridge to reach online shoppers and content sells the brand.

It is what makes an item or service become a potential return on investment, he said, noting that “as a brand, we tell a lot of our stories from the African perspective to ensure it resonates with the people we are trying to reach”.

Hammed Arowosegbe, the VR AR Association, chapter president, Nigeria, speaking said there has been an evolution of digital commerce through the help of virtual reality.

“A lot of forward-thinking brands have started to adopt this innovation to make shopping experiences worthwhile for their customers. Most recently the dynamics of shopping have progressed with innovations like the Metaverse, NFTs, and Web 3.0. So it is beneficial for brands to start having conversations along these lines to secure a spot in the future of digital commerce. Brands like Taeillo have adopted and are still working on adopting some of these innovations,” Ahmed said.

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