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Furniture brand Commune taps tech tools to improve shopping experience

SHOPPING for furniture will be made easier as customers can soon digitally visualise how the furniture will look like in their homes.

This is thanks to the mobile augmented reality (AR) app that will be rolled out by homegrown furniture brand Commune at the end of August.

Using AR and the camera function of smart devices, customers will be able to virtually place 3D models, which are 90 per cent accurate to the actual products, in their homes.

Commune, a subsidiary of Singapore-listed furniture maker Koda, announced at its showcase event on Tuesday that the new app aims to enhance customers' shopping experiences by allowing them to make more informed decisions.

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The new tools were the result of an experience technology roadmap that was developed through a design thinking workshop organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). 

"Commune has shown us how retail businesses can meet changing customer needs quickly in the digital age by effectively harnessing emerging technology and data," said Jane Lim, assistant chief executive for sectoral transformation group of IMDA in a press statement. 

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat, who graced the event, said that Commune has "very smartly applied technology" to meet the needs of customers. 

The app will also complement the new mobile point-of-sales system, which was developed for sales staff, to reduce the time taken to serve customers by 70 per cent.

"The system will have a similar interface to the app but offers more information to sales staff, such as the unique selling points of products as well as care and maintenance information," said Commune's marketing manager Bonnie Oeni.

These tools will empower sales staff to serve customers more confidently, she added.

The new technology rolled out will be additions to Commune's existing host of tools, which include virtual reality (VR) and 3D space-planning services where customers can virtually create their dream homes. They can also put on VR headsets in store, allowing them to be transported into the virtual homes.