Made.com launches tech innovation lab
Furniture retailer Made.com has launched a new innovation lab called Made Labs that will work with emerging technologies and innovative startups.
Based at Made’s headquarters in London’s Shoreditch, the Labs team will work with startup businesses to create an engaging shopping experience for customers. This will mainly focus on helping customers to find the right products and to visualise them in their own homes.
The new offering follows Made’s collaborations with a range of other technology businesses such as Hullabalook, which created Made’s Sofasizer online tool that helps customers find the right size of sofa to fit in their space. It also follows the retailer’s unveiling of its expanded Soho showroom and the store’s supersized touch screens that include new Labs features such as Find My Style to help customers find products that match their taste.
In addition, Made has a launched a new online interior design service this month in partnership with French startup Hubstairs. This service helps customers visualise their own home with Made furniture, using AI to recommend the right products and 3D technology to create a photo-quality view of the furnished rooms.
Working in partnership with Go Instore, Made has also launched the View it Live service to allow customers from all over the world to connect with Made staff on the showroom floor via live-one way video combined with two-way audio. The service enables customers to get advice and see the products they have viewed online up-close. Now live in Made’s showrooms in London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Birmingham and West Yorkshire, the service will be extended further across Europe later this year.
Jonathan Howell, chief technology officer at Made, said: “By 2022, 50% of the consumer landscape will be millennials or younger. This is a seismic shift for an industry that’s already gone through a huge amount of change over the past decade. At Made, we pride ourselves on relentless innovation and so a key challenge for us, as it should be for every business, is to continue to listen to what our customers want and action this, so we remain relevant in the changing consumer landscape.
“Made Labs marks another step towards our ambition to become Europe’s leading design destination, as we continue to use technology to power our growth.”
Made Labs will be hosting an event later this year to give startups the opportunity to pitch their products and ideas to the business.
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