Natuzzi shoppers use HoloLens to envision their living space

Mixed-reality helps furniture company engage its shoppers

Hevolus revolutionizes the retail, logistics and maintenance sectors with Mixed Reality

Getting customers into the door

The Natuzzi Group, the largest furniture company in Italy, needed a way to attract customers into its physical retail locations and engage their “buying journey”.

Creating an innovative shopping experience

Hevolus, a Microsoft mixed reality partner, developed a HoloLens solution called the “Augmented Store” with Natuzzi. The solution helps shoppers visualize how furniture would look in the shoppers home using mixed reality.

Expanding the showroom infinitely

Using the Hevolus solution, Natuzzi can now virtually expand its showroom to any size and show its products at any scale. Natuzzi is expecting the “Augmented Store” to improve sales conversation rates by almost 30 percent and reduce lead sales time by almost 50 percent.

The journey that led Hevolus to Mixed Reality began in 2014, when they started working on projects with corporate open Innovation, digital transformation, and new customer journey for multinational corporations and crafts persons. Over a short time, the company became a leader in the field of disruptive technologies, enabling their international customers, such as Würth Group and Natuzzi Worldwide, to be a step ahead thanks to the amazing opportunities that the Hevolus virtual, augmented, and mixed reality solutions provided.

As a company, Hevolus prides itself on monitoring competitive business scenarios, and in January 2018, the company applied for the Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner (MMRP) program. After a few short months, they were awarded this prestigious accreditation.

Increasing sales through innovative models

The Hevolus Innovation team is comprised of software engineers, IT specialists, multimedia architects, and scientific and artistic consultants. The team starts with the study of the customer journey, identifying business problems and opportunities in order to create a transformative high value-added business model based on the integrated use of AI technologies, Intelligent Cloud, and Intelligent Edge services.

Thanks to the excellent technical support of the MRPP team, in 2018 Hevolus Innovation successfully launched virtual reality visualization tools in mixed reality with HoloLens, for the retail sector, in addition to the warehouse and maintenance sectors of all industries.

Completely scalable, immersive, and interactive, Hevolus solutions improve business productivity, thus increasing their profits. Mixed reality with HoloLens and Azure services provide business benefits that were previously unimaginable, helping workers to perform their tasks remotely and making the customer experience an exciting one.

“Mixed Reality is an open door toward the future: it’s an incredible opportunity to give our clients the gift of a unique shopping experience.”

— Antonella La Notte, Hevolus CEO and Co-Founder

Creating a unique customer experience

The Natuzzi Group, founded in 1959, is the largest furniture company in Italy and a main player in the global furniture market. Challenged with attracting potential customers to visit its retail stores, Natuzzi set out to find new ways to engage customers across their buying journey. To this end, the company launched the ‘Natuzzi Digital (R)evolution Program’ to implement new innovative technology meant to provide a more personalized and interactive in-store experience for customers.

Natuzzi contacted Hevolus to develop the technical solutions needed to transform its customer journey: high-definition 3D product creation, design tools, and mixed reality solutions. One of the solutions dubbed the “Augmented Store”, is a mixed reality platform integrated with HoloLens and Intelligent Cloud Azure Services. The Augmented Store works with Microsoft Surface Studio and allows customers, together with the retailer, the ability to design their own furniture project and view it in mixed reality with HoloLens.

The integration of the platform along with horizontally scalable in order to adapt to the entire retail sector, the solution allows Natuzzi to show its whole range of products in mixed reality, both holographic and immersive without the need for large-scale exhibition spaces.

Innovating for the future

With the Augmented Store solution, Natuzzi can increase its exhibition capacity infinitely while allowing customers to visualize products at any scale, interact with holograms, and reduce the time it takes for them to reach purchasing decisions. As a result of the new solution, Natuzzi anticipates improved order conversion rates by almost 30 percent while reducing sales lead time by almost 50 percent.

As the solution continues to evolve, additional Azure features and services including Cognitive Services and Artificial Intelligence will be gradually implemented. Eventually, the aim is to collect and analyze all significant data obtained during the final customer's immersive experience to aid Natuzzi’s planning for furnishing configurations more immersive and co-creative.

“We have achieved our objective in revolutionizing the concept of the purchasing experience in the furniture sector by offering customers a useful, omnichannel, interactive, and memorable journey.”

— Pasquale Natuzzi Junior, Creative Director & Stylist/ Global Marketing & Communication Director, Natuzzi Worldwide

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