Monday, December 4, 2023

Crate and Barrel debuts virtual store

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Dive Brief:

  • Crate and Barrel launched its first virtual store in partnership with experiential e-commerce platform Obsess on Thursday, according to a press release. The online shopping experience is a replica of the brand’s newly opened flagship at 881 Broadway in New York City’s Flatiron neighborhood.
  • Within the virtual experience, users can visualize a sofa, living room set and build a bouquet with the brand’s selection of vases and botanicals. The digital store has separate shopping rooms for its dining, kitchen, living room, botanical shop and Crate & Kids categories.
  • Customers can schedule a free appointment both in-store and virtually, explore walls of swatches, light fixtures, tableware and more.

Dive Insight:

Crate and Barrel’s virtual store is among the largest fully 3D-rendered spaces Obsess has created to date, according to the release. The experience has more than 450 products and eight rooms. Crate and Barrel’s move to include the online store format allows for more interactive personalization for customers, letting them build out product selections to the customer’s own taste.

Image courtesy of Crate & Barrel


“Our virtual store in partnership with Obsess is a first-of-its-kind for us as a brand, and we’re looking forward to helping our online global customers envision and experience our new physical flagship in NYC,” Sebastian Brauer, senior vice president of product design, visual and head of web 3.0 at Crate & Barrel said in a statement. “We want to help our customers dream up their perfect space wherever they are, and this interactive tour allows them to find everything from tableware to furniture, lighting, décor and more.”

Visitors to the photorealistic, 360-degree recreation of the NYC Crate and Barrel flagship can connect with the virtual store’s Design Desk for free design and trade services with the company’s design experts.

The furniture retail company joins a plethora of brands with online immersive e-commerce spaces. Brands have debuted virtual stores touting more personalization offerings, custom avatars, digital wearables or have used the opportunity to combine the store with other tech like AI, VR or NFTs.

This year alone, Obsess has partnered with companies like Elizabeth Arden, Crocs, Laneige and many others. Last week, J. Crew entered its second partnership with Obsess and launched a holiday version of its virtual store. The themed experience displays a snow lodge for women’s apparel and a ski chalet for men’s and offers an AI card generator.

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