3D, augmented reality, virtual reality, virtual photography, UX design, showroom visual configurators, PWA, ERP, PIM, DAM—does it excite you or make your head spin? Just call Jola. In a wide-ranging conversation with Michael Lamarti, Founder & CEO of Jola Interactive, we discuss:
- The technology that furniture companies need to be utilizing to remain competitive.
- Manufacturers’ shifting attitudes towards consumers and what that has to do with tech.
- Why you need to be thinking of your website as a portal to your consumer’s experience of your brand.
- Building a visual brand from scratch with virtual photography.
Click play on the video to watch the conversation between DNN Editor in Chief, Courtney Porter, and Michael Lamarti, Founder & CEO of Jola.
About Jola Interactive
Jola Interactive is a multi-disciplinary team of web developers and 3D CGI specialists that offers end-to-end digital solutions to clients interested in building industry-leading eCommerce websites with 3D applications, such as visual configurators and augmented reality. With over 12 years of experience, Jola Interactive has worked with renowned North American brands in the furnishing industry, such as Verellen and Hubbardton Forge. Both of these brands recently won Web Excellence Awards for best websites for interior designers and home remodeling, respectively.
The Odette case study: building a brand from scratch
Jola delivers custom solutions that save clients time and money without compromising on professional-grade quality. Take their recent work for Odette Furniture for example…
Odette, a new line of upholstery, casegoods, antiques, and art, is the brainchild of designer and entrepreneur Laura Vogtle. She approached Jola Interactive with an interesting proposition: they were without digital assets. They had no website and no photography, and they were opening their flagship High Point Showroom in a couple of months. Not a problem! All Jola needed were Odette’s drawings to create the website and visual digital assets for their brochures. Jola was their one-stop-shop that could create all of the digital assets they needed so they would be good to go come Spring market.
Aside from the innovative technologies and pace at which they are able to produce stunning visuals, Jola’s deep understanding of their clients’ needs is equally impressive. “They didn’t need the fancy website or all the visualizers. What they needed were the digital assets,” said Lamarti. There was no attempt to upsell. Michael Lamarti has been in the home furnishings industry for a couple of decades, and his passion is palpable. He doesn’t want to be servicing anyone else. He knows the home furnishings industry ecosystem, and that is evident in the way Jola is thinking about the continued evolution of technologies to best serve their clients.
Omnichannel experiences that expand beyond the website and into the showroom
For established brands, it’s time to take things up a notch. Think of your website as a portal to the user’s experience of the rest of your brand, not a standalone destination. The pandemic taught us that people crave connectivity and are hyper-focused on using technology to stay connected to real-world experiences. Jola’s evolution from web service to showroom and sales tools reflects this sentiment. Their full suite of services seamlessly connects the online browsing and in-person shopping experience.
For Palliser Furniture, Jola designed an in-store visual configurator kiosk. Customers can build furniture and upholstery, change styles, and see the object in motion (such as a sleeper sofa being pulled out). This technology makes big purchases like a sofa easier for designers to sell, as the client can already visualize it in their home.
Sherrill Furniture takes what Jola can do for lines with lots of custom options to the max. They are a brand that prides itself on being able to customize everything for their clients. Using the website, a phone app, or an application in the Sherrill showroom, end users can configure upholstery with all of their custom options, and use the visualizer to see it in their space.
What’s new, what’s next?
Companies like Jola are already living in the future. They will be rolling out new offerings that build upon their current ones, including their proprietary visualizer software that can create shades and textures, something that is often lacking in existing virtual imagery. Another aspect of their services that is already being improved is the ability to configure multiple pieces of furniture in a room. On this next wave, Michael says, “It’s all about realism.” People want to see something exceptional. It’s about improving what they already have and showing them something that is far, far better. To learn more, visit www.jolausa.com.