BuildDirect offering shoppers virtual flooring experience

The integration also provides a new channel for the BuildDirect's customers.

Online flooring retailer BuildDirect has announced a partnership with RoOomy, a home design studio that utilizes VR, AR and 3D technology. Together they will bring a virtual flooring capability to RoOomy’s iOS app.

Specifically, RoOomy’s 3D design and imaging technology will virtualize and upload BuildDirect’s flooring products to its platforms so consumers can swap out and test new flooring textures. The integration also provides a new channel for the company’s customers, as flooring textures will also be shoppable directly through the RoOomy app.

“The partnership with BuildDirect is unique in the fact that it enhances and provides insight into the capabilities of the physical structure itself, while the rest of the products in roOomy lie with home furnishing partners,” Pieter Aarts, CEO and co-founder of RoOomy, told FierceRetail. “This partnership allows potential homebuyers to truly unlock the potential of their future home by seeing how a new floor would look prior to making the largest purchase of their life.”

The program will take a lot of the guesswork out of home improvement projects, according to Joseph Thompson, head of marketing and growth at BuildDirect. 

“The team at RoOomy shares our passion to create a simpler, more convenient industry, and we are excited to expand our virtual, 3D enabled flooring catalog to its platform. Together, we want to bring an entirely new and unique DIY experience to homeowners,” he said. 

Thompson points out that flooring purchases and home renovations are important financial decisions, and the current brick-and-mortar channel of purchasing these items requires consumers to drive from store to store and guess what the product will look like in their home. 

Furthermore, a majority of BuildDirect’s traffic enters their site through mobile. That number continues to grow, accounting for 57% of all traffic in 2016. As the company foresees more mobile growth, apps such as RoOomy will continue to emerge as important for cross-platform engagement. 

“We see technology partners like RoOomy continuing to grow, and being a company that is built on machine learning and AI, we feel it’s important to partner with other companies that are at the forefront of these innovations. Currently, we’ve launched a handful of flooring products on their site, and we anticipate this to grow to a larger percentage of our more than 130,000 flooring and home improvement products,” Thompson added. 

The ability to instantaneously convert any room into a dynamic 3D scene is appealing to consumers, along with the fact that it converts the scene to scale. Aarts also points out that the ability to instantly remove and replace the existing furnishings with a finger using the “cleaning” feature is also a draw for users. 

“It would take hours and a lot of sweat to do what RoOomy can do in a matter of seconds. RoOomy truly unlocks the potential of the home and empowers the consumer, be it retail, real estate or both,” Aarts said.