social media | Jan 31, 2022 |
Pinterest unveils augmented reality shopping for home

Pinterest has long been a virtual hub for moodboards and interior design inspiration—now, users may be able to bring that content a little closer to home. Today, the platform announced the launch of a new augmented reality feature called Try On for Home Decor—using a smartphone camera, users will be able to virtually see a variety of shoppable home furnishings placed to-scale in their own spaces.

While it's not Pinterest’s first foray into AR technology—previous Try On launches include lipstick and eyeshadow products in 2020 and 2021 respectively—it’s a big play for the app’s users, nine out of 10 of whom visit the platform for research and inspiration related to home decor shopping. Compared to the 14,000 shoppable beauty pins available through previous AR initiatives, the Try On for Home Decor feature will launch with 80,000 shoppable pins featuring products from Crate & Barrel, CB2, Target, Walmart, West Elm and Wayfair.

For Pinterest, the move is partly an extension of users’ growing comfort with similar technology offered through its Lens feature, which allows people to point their phone’s camera at any object in front of them and receive results for similar images or products in return. In 2021, Lens searches increased year-over-year by 126 percent as the number of people engaging with the platform’s shopping features also rose. With additional data pointing to the fact that users are five times more likely to make purchases from Try On-enabled pins rather than regular pins, the move into home decor was a natural fit.

In a broader sense, Pinterest’s feature also aligns with the direction larger consumer trends are headed. As part of the Try On for Home Decor launch, the platform cites a study from consumer trends agency Collison’s Foresights Factory, which found that 40 percent of global consumers have been shopping more on mobile since the pandemic, while 46 percent said they would never go shopping at all without using their mobile—even higher at 50 percent among Gen Z and millennials. For Jeremy Jankowski, Pinterest’s creator management lead for home and design, merging the platform’s function as a planning tool and visual search engine with commerce is a logical next step considering the fact that users typically flock to the site prepared to take action.

“When you go on various other platforms, you're generally going to be entertained,” says Jankowski. “When you come to Pinterest, you're looking for something, you're in planning mode, you're going to plan for your wedding, you're going to plan a redesign of your kitchen, your bathroom, etc. That's why shopping is so important on the platform.”

With the Try On for Home Decor program, the platform aims to extend the shopping process, turning that initial product exposure directly into purchases by allowing users to configure large-scale furniture and decor items in their own space without ever leaving the app. Data also backs up this approach, with Pinterest reporting that 50 percent more dollars are spent when consumers take a longer time to make purchasing decisions. According to Jankowski, it could be the tip of the iceberg—along with onboarding more retailers in the coming year, he hopes to one day see the site’s home decor category completely AR-enabled.

“Everything that we're doing at Pinterest is really to continue bringing the platform into the 21st century, and continue innovating and helping people make really distinct, specialized, well-made decisions,” says Jankowski. “We really do believe that shopping is more than about searching for a singular product. It's about inspiring new ideas and speaking to new projects.”

Homepage image: Courtesy of Pinterest

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