News Feature | May 23, 2017

Target Rolls Out New Virtual View Feature To Bolster Furniture Sales And Challenge Amazon

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Target Clinics Opening

360 ° Shopping  helps shoppers visualize products in their own home.

Target has unveiled  360 ° Shopping,  a virtual experience on its website, that features curated living room looks and the ability to browse some 140 products in a virtual living room designed to help visualize the size, scale and styling of items, according to a company blog post. Customers can choose from modern, farmhouse, mid-century, or traditional collections including rugs, sofas, wall hangings, decorative throws and more, using an incredible, shoppable 360-degree virtual reality-type experience on

We’re constantly searching for new ways to inspire our guests and make shopping at Target an easy and inspiring experience,” says Mike McNamara, chief digital officer, Target. “And we’re just beginning to tap the power of CGI with this virtual reality living room—there’s a ton of potential to create even richer, engaging digital experiences for our guests.”

The move is part of Target’s commitment to improving its customer experience and boosting loyalty through a number of initiatives. It also is designed to better compete with online retailers like Amazon and Wayfair, who are experiencing surging furniture sales. In fact, Amazon furniture general manager Veenu Taneja told the Wall Street Journal that furniture is one of the fastest-growing sales categories.  In fact, research from Barclays demonstrated that online furniture sales rose 18 percent in 2016, and IBISWorld data shows that 15 percent of $70 billion in U.S. furniture sales are now made online.

Last year, Wayfair introduced a new feature that allows shoppers to use their mobile devices to visualize how furniture and other décor items would look in their homes before they purchased them. The “View In Room” feature helps bring products to life for customers, and also helped boost furniture sales online. Wayfair also has 3D product rendering options available in virtual or augmented reality using select VR headsets and the Lenovo Tango-enabled Phab 2 Pro.