Look before you buy: The AR & VR home decor revolution

December 14, 2023
Hot topics 🔥
E-Commerce InsightsTech Insights
Mario Grunitz
Look before you buy: The AR & VR home decor revolution

Home decor enthusiasts suffering from buyer’s remorse, rejoice! Finally, you’re saved from the perils of post-purchase regret when reality doesn’t quite live up to the online catalogue.

There’s nothing worse than immediately realising that the sofa, lamp, curtains, etc. you spent hours searching for doesn’t suit the rest of your decor. Especially when the delivery guys have already packed up the truck and are backing out of your driveway, leaving you with a nice-in-catalogue but a not-so-nice-in-reality piece of decor to deal with.

But thanks to the latest AR and VR technologies making their way to the home decor retail space, this scenario will soon be a thing of the past. Customers are enjoying the benefits of the augmented reality home shopping era that leverages virtual reality showrooms, AR in home decor, VR in interior design, and virtual furniture placement to ensure they see exactly how decor will look in their own space before purchasing.

AR & VR’s role in home decor shopping

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are spearheading a shift in the way consumers envision and purchase home decor items. The impact these technologies are making on the home decor shopping experience is revolutionising how customers visualise and interact with furniture and decor items before making a purchase.

Pre-visualising furniture and decor

AR and VR technologies enable shoppers to virtually place furniture and decor items in their living spaces to view how they will look before making a purchase. This immersive experience allows users to assess how different items complement their existing decor, ensuring a more informed decision-making process.

3D product views

One of the key advantages of AR and VR is their ability to provide 3D product views, allowing customers to understand the dimensions and fit of furniture items. This feature bridges the gap between online shopping and the in-store experience, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the products.

Virtual reality showrooms and home tours

AR and VR allow shoppers to enjoy interactive home tours and virtual showrooms. These experiences guide purchase decisions by allowing them to explore different layouts and visualise how various items fit within a space. The result is a more engaging and personalised shopping journey that instils trust in shoppers’ purchasing decisions.

How AR & VR benefits both customers and retailers

The introduction of AR and VR technologies into the home decor retail space appears to be a win-win deal for both shoppers and retailers. Let’s explore how:

Reduced returns

By leveraging AR and VR for home decor shopping, shoppers are better able to make more informed decisions which significantly reduces the likelihood of returns. The ability to visualise products in their homes minimises the uncertainty associated with online furniture shopping. Retailers are happy to eliminate the headache and costs of returning items, of course.

Higher customer engagement

For retailers, the more time customers spend engaging with products, the higher the conversion rates – and the higher the level of brand loyalty. AR and VR shopping experiences drive increased user engagement that serves to capture and retain customers’ attention. The interactive nature of these technologies immerses users in a captivating shopping experience, fostering a deeper connection with the products and ultimately, the brand.

Customer confidence

AR and VR instil confidence in customers to help them overcome the traditional hesitation of buying large items online. This is because the visual reassurance provided by these technologies helps users feel more secure in their purchasing decisions – no more buyer’s remorse! A more confident customer will likely be a returning customer, a cherry on an already sweet conversion cake for retailers.

Great examples of VR & AR in home decor

Here are some amazing use cases of how brands are leveraging AR and VR to enhance the shopping experience to create a more immersive and informative purchasing journey.

Praxis AR Floor Calculator

At WeAreBrain, we developed the Praxis AR Floor Calculator which demonstrates how AR technology can assist users in visualising and planning the type of floor they want to install in their homes. This innovative tool not only enhances the user experience but also aids in space optimisation, helping shoppers make informed decisions before outlying the costs of a new floor.

IKEA Place

The Swedish furniture retailer’s AR app stands as a pioneering example. Allowing users to visualise furniture in their living spaces, the app facilitates well-informed purchasing decisions, effectively minimising uncertainties linked to online furniture shopping.


Wayfair’s mobile app incorporates AR features that enable customers to visualise furniture and decor items at scale within their homes. This functionality simplifies the process of determining whether an item fits and aesthetically aligns with the existing decor.

Potential challenges

While the promise of AR and VR in home decor shopping is great, there are certain challenges which need to be understood.

Ensuring realistic experiences may face technical limitations, particularly in the early stages of widespread adoption. However, advancements in technology are expected to address and improve these aspects over time.

The learning curve associated with these technologies may present initial challenges, emphasising the need for intuitive and user-friendly interfaces. The success of AR and VR in home decor shopping relies on user adoption. If mom and dad struggle with email then getting them AR and VR savvy is certainly a challenge not for the faint of heart!

Another challenge is integrating AR and VR functionalities with diverse product catalogues. Getting these technologies to be compatible with the vast array of available home decor items requires robust solutions to ensure a seamless and cohesive shopping experience.

Immerse before you buy

AR and VR are reshaping the landscape of home decor e-commerce, offering shoppers unique opportunities to visualise and interact with products before making purchase decisions.

Through reduced return rates, heightened engagement, and enhanced consumer confidence, these technologies are propelling the industry into a new era. While challenges exist, ongoing advancements and innovations in AR and VR promise to further enrich the home decor shopping experience, making it more immersive, personalised, and satisfying for shoppers.

As technology continues to evolve, the synergy between augmented and virtual realities and home decor is set to redefine the future of online furniture shopping.

Mario Grunitz

Mario is a Strategy Lead and Co-founder of WeAreBrain, bringing over 20 years of rich and diverse experience in the technology sector. His passion for creating meaningful change through technology has positioned him as a thought leader and trusted advisor in the tech community, pushing the boundaries of digital innovation and shaping the future of AI.

Working Machines

An executive’s guide to AI and Intelligent Automation. Working Machines takes a look at how the renewed vigour for the development of Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation technology has begun to change how businesses operate.