The Etsy House experience 1

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Smooth, interactive and shoppable, The Etsy House is a great step forward for the ecommerce site

Quick read

➨ The Etsy House uses photorealistic and true-to-scale renderings, seamless navigation, and 360° visuals
➨ Shoppers can see the products in a home environment containing 12 rooms, including a kitchen, kids playroom and courtyard
➨ The entire virtual house is also shoppable. Hover over select items and a pop-up will provide more information on the product and a link to purchase

The story

Ecommerce site Etsy is using immersive technology to showcase the craft and vintage products of its sellers.

Etsy says the immersive experience, called The Etsy House, uses photorealistic and true-to-scale renderings, seamless navigation, and 360° visuals to enable shoppers to ‘visit’ a virtual home full of products such as holiday decor and gifts, Etsy Design Awards winners, and bespoke furniture and artwork.

Shoppers can see the products in a home environment containing 12 rooms, including a kitchen, kids playroom and courtyard.

VRWorldTech found The Etsy House easy to navigate via a desktop PC, utilising high-quality 360° visuals that really entice shoppers and a point-and-click system that is smooth.

The dozen rooms can also be ‘visited’ individually, which is a nice touch for shoppers interested in furnishing a particular part of their home.

The entire virtual house is also shoppable. Hover over select items (denoted by a white dot enclosed in a black circle) and a pop-up will provide more information on the product and a link to purchase.

A neon sign of an astronaut in the game room revealed its price tag to be $350 when we clicked on it. A close-up image of the product is provided, along with a 3D model.

The Etsy House experience - Living room and game room
The Etsy House, including the game room on the right

Disappointedly, the link to purchase took us to the full store rather than a listing for the neon sign, making the virtual experience less frictionless than we had hoped (editor’s note: this is possibly because we are based in the UK and individual links are diverting).

Created in partnership with creative visualisation studio The Boundary, Etsy House is a solid move into immersive shopping experiences for Etsy, which reportedly follows a recent push into more traditional TV advertising.

It is also heartening to see more ecommerce sites and retailers using immersive technology to enhance the digital experiences of their customers, particularly when competition is increasing.

They must, however, be careful not to oversell their digital experiences.

Writing in a blog post, Jessica Doyle, the company’s vice president of communications and engagement marketing, calls The Etsy House “the first-ever interactive, augmented-reality (AR) experience”.

Most shoppers probably do not know the difference between a 360° experience such as The Etsy House and AR, but Etsy and ecommerce sites like it run the risk of disappointing those that do.

The Etsy House is a great example of immersive technology being used to enhance the digital experience for customers, but an interactive virtual tour is not full-blown AR of the kind deployed by IKEA, for example.

It is a minor point and does not detract from an explorable, interactive experience that shows the quality and variety of products on offer from sellers.

It will be interesting to see what Etsy does next and how it combines craft and vintage products with the next wave of 3D and immersive technology.

Try The Etsy House yourself and let us know what you think via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or editor@vrworldtech.com.

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Images: Etsy

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