Online furniture e-tailer Made.com has launched its own social network that allows its customers to connect with each other and take virtual house tours, as well as facilitating face-to-face meetings to discuss their purchases from the retailer.

Called 'Made Unboxed', the online community has been created to allow customers to see what the retailer's products look like in real-life situations before they make a purchase. Visitors to the new online hub can search by postcode or by product to see what items people have purchased in a particular geographical region.

The new social hub is part of a number of new innovative initiatives being rolled out by the online business – as it looks to build on a successful four years since its 2010 launch.

Recently, the company started trialling the use of tablet devices in its London Notting Hill showroom, with customers able to scan NFC tags as they browse the facility in order to access more in-depth product information and build up their own personal 'look-books' to share with friends and family.

The business has also used introduced augmented reality within its digital platforms, and is conducting research into how it can best use online video to engage with its customers.

Made Unboxed has launched today with almost 100 'brand advocates', who have their own profile with professional photos of their homes, but all Made.com customers are encouraged to participate in the site and share pictures of their home.

Brent Hoberman, Made.com chairman, said: "We see that Unboxed is part of the megatrend whereby people are recreating the community spirit of past ages.

"In this case we are encouraging people to share their love of their homes with their neighbour. We think this will become a movement that represents the future of retail; the focus will change from the demise of the high street, to the rise of your own street."

Made.com has UK showrooms in west London and Yorkshire, and employs over 150 people. It launched ventures in Italy and France, last year, and the business is set to announce two new European sites later in 2014.

Click below for more information and to visit Made Unboxed:

Made Unboxed