Daily Insights

Etsy’s Experiential Shopping

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jun 25, 2020

Etsy has launched an AR tool that could help consumers see how a painting, photos, or prints look hanging in their own home before purchase. Consumers can choose different wall items and see what they would look like in different spaces to help paint a better picture of the item’s color and sizes before buying. The tool, which is currently available on Etsy’s iPhone and iPad app, could boost convenience for customers on the path to purchase and make them more likely to return to the platform according to a Gartner report on the topic. Additionally, being able to better visualize their latest Etsy find might help consumers feel more confident about their buys, resulting in fewer returns to the platform.

The site, which is popular for home goods and handmade crafts in particular, could benefit from the feature as products on the site are not always in standard sizes, leaving it up to dialogue between the seller and buyer for further clarifications. Etsy is rolling out the AR tool for more than 5 million products in the “arts and collectibles” category, with the potential to expand to other home decor categories in the near future. 

Etsy’s AR endeavor could provide consumers with a more visual and engaging shopping experience during a time when shopping is at its most one-dimensional, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. As the crisis has kept many consumers out of stores and shopping online, Etsy’s launch of an AR tool could also draw in new audiences looking for an eclectic, yet modern shopping experience. 

As well, the brand’s new feature debuts at a time when home improvement projects have been on the rise and follows a broader e-commerce trend that sees brands giving shoppers a more realistic view of products before purchasing. For example, Kendra Scott and Asos both debuted mobile AR features during the pandemic to let shoppers see what a product looks like on themselves or similarly-sized models to make up for shoppers not being able to visit a store and try on items. Indeed, Etsy’s launch into AR demonstrates that augmented reality is extending beyond fashion retail and could appeal to a wide array of consumers. 

During the pandemic, shoppers have become more reliant on e-commerce, which could help Etsy’s timely AR tool connect with more homebound, digital shoppers. It might be just the futuristic and efficient touch the brand needed to keep progressing in the world of retail.