Trend: bringing furniture retail to life

Trend Editions is a B2B SaaS business providing furniture companies with the ability to market their products to customers using augmented reality technology. Customers can use a smart device, such as an iphone or ipad, to place real images of furniture items in the camera view so they can see the item in their own home, with the right proportions, and are able to change the colour of fabrics, textures, wood etc, before they decide to buy.

It's common knowledge that the traditional retail market has seen a rapid migration towards e-commerce, yet unbelievably, only 11% of the £17.7bn UK's furniture and furnishings market is online. Customer experience is central to the speed at which this migration happens. It all started with books and music over a decade ago. Consumers didn't need to touch these items to experience their quality, and the industry established a dominant online presence. Electronics followed shortly after when the creation of review and rating systems allowed users to compare products and prices to fit their requirements and budget. Fashion lagged behind because consumers still felt an overwhelming need to try before buying, but free shipping and returns and fast delivery changed the status quo and made the sector explode online. 

We at Trend believe now is the time for furniture to start dominating online sales, and the key driver for this is Augmented Reality (AR) technology. AR is the game-changer that will enhance the customer experience, taking it to the stage where buying furniture online is more reliable and far superior to current offline alternatives. Even retail shops will be able to adopt AR to engage their customers by “taking the products home with them”. 

Experience in furniture supply systems and a deep understanding of the AR technology landscape gives Trend a unique set of skills to revolutionise the furniture industry through technology. Our B2B solutions can be adopted by multiple third parties, who can sell through retail shops or online. Essentially they will pay for the use of our product modelling services and AR platform to present their own products.

Augmented Reality is forecast to become the next big technology; its uses are many and varied. It provides an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are "augmented" by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visualauditoryhapticsomatosensory, and olfactory.

In the context of furniture retail, photo-realistic models of furniture items – that look lifelike in terms of colour, texture and scale can be presented through the camera view of an iPad or iPhone (Android) superimposed on the real world scene. Such objects can be moved around, interacting with similar virtual or real objects.

Trend Editions has a unique approach to furniture retail online using AR, so that the first stage of any purchase will happen either in the home or in a retail shop – using an iPad or a headset connected to our ARHomeCloud™ app. Items of interest can be selected from a visual library of 3D models of furniture, fabrics and carpets. Using the camera view, selected items will be user-positioned in the space to be furnished; they will be able to put items in place and view them from any angle, as shown in this video.

We believe Trend’s AR apps will be a game-changer for online furniture retail, improving the selling process and compensating for the lack of a physical showroom.

We are now raising funds on Crowdcube to complete our AR software and release the SaaS platform later this year, when our first customers, Block London, will use the technology on their platform. We have already raised over half of our £120k target, but remain open to investment, so please check out our campaign, and if you have any questions, you can contact us through our pitch page.

Find out more about Trend and invest by visiting their pitch page.

Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please Invest Aware.

Jennie Rourke

Guest author: Jennie Rourke CEO at Trend Editions

After graduating from Warwick University with a First Class honours, Jenny spent 13 years heading up supply chain solutions for suppliers of major high street retailers ASOS, Next & John Lewis. Her love of interiors, design and technology is what drove her to establish Trend Editions.