A new Pinterest feature will allow consumers to see what furniture or other home décor items will look like in their own home, using augmented reality (AR). Similar technology has already been put into place by major retailers, like Amazon, IKEA or Wayfair, as well as others in the home design space, like Houzz. In Pinterest’s case, it’s working with a select group of U.S. retailers including Crate & Barrel, Walmart, West Elm and Wayfair, to allow online shoppers to virtually place items in their home using the Pinterest app’s “Lens camera.” If the user then likes what they see, they can proceed to purchase the item directly from the retailer.
This virtual shopping experience for home décor is launching in the U.S. across more than 80,000 shoppable Pins, which makes it Pinterest’s largest AR shopping investment to date.
It’s also the third “Try On” product Pinterest has launched over the past two years. Its first efforts were in the beauty market, with Try On features that allowed consumers to virtually experiment with different lipstick shades and eyeshadows, totaling 14,000 shoppable Pins. Pinterest had not yet worked with placing items directly in a room, in other words — only on users’ faces. While not quite the same technology as before, all of Pinterest’s Try On experiences have the same goal of turning product inspiration into purchases.
To use the feature on iOS or Android, users in the U.S. can click supported home décor Pins then click “Try in your Space” to see the virtual product through the camera lens. Users can adjust the product in their own space and browse the product information, including pricing. To purchase, they just click the Pin again to be directed to the checkout page on the retailer’s website.
This attempt to funnel consumers’ more casual browsing into retail transactions has been Pinterest’s larger focus over the years. But the company has been slow to adapt to various market shifts, including the move away from static images to video as shopping inspiration, for example — at least until more recently. Last year, the company belatedly entered this space with the launch of its debut video-first product, Idea Pins, and has since invested in creator tools that would allow online influencers to make money from their content.
Pinterest is also clearly not the first to market with its new AR feature for shopping furniture and décor. But the AR shopping market is still early. Here, initial adoption has been limited by the tools available to AR developers, like Apple’s ARKit, which has steadily improved over time to …….