Etsy Adds AR Art Viewing Option to iOS App

Searches for wall decor on the site have spiked 94% during COVID-19 pandemic.

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Need to Know

  • The new feature will allow Etsy shoppers to see how art will look in their homes by virtually hanging it on walls.
  • Etsy reports searches for wall decor have spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, though the company began its development of AR capabilities in early 2019.
  • AR feature is currently only available on iOS; Android version is in development.
  • Using AR to test out art, furniture, and more is becoming increasingly valuable as consumers look for new ways to embrace retail.

Analysis

During lockdown and stay-at-home orders across North America, many have determined that their living spaces needed a bit of sprucing up — at least according to a survey by Etsy, which revealed that searches for wall decor or art on its site have increased 94% over same time last year.

To make investing in new art easier for online shoppers, the site is introducing an AR feature, which allows consumers to see how potential purchases will look in their homes.

The new feature, which is only available on Apple’s iOS operating system at this time, lets shoppers use their smartphone cameras to place 3D renderings of wall art or decor in rooms in their actual homes.

In order to use the feature, iOS users must search from within products on Etsy that are categorized as Paintings, Photography, or Prints. The feature uses an on-device machine learning image classification process to determine whether a product includes a frame and therefore needs to be cropped. Users can move their iPad or iPhone around their home, and tap to place the item on various walls in order to see how it might look once purchased.

Etsy’s mobile business is on the uptick: in the first quarter of 2020, the company reported that 58% of its gross merchandise sales came from mobile devices. Additionally, the company’s total revenue for the quarter clocked in at $228.1-million, up 34.7% from the same time last year, while gross profit was $145.6-million, up 24.8%. The online craft marketplace has been fine-tuning its consumer-facing options recently, adding more free shipping options late last year in an effort to compete with Amazon Prime.

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