John Lewis offers ‘try before they buy’ service to see how Christmas trees will look at home

John Lewis has announced a new augmented reality feature on its app to help shoppers choose the best Christmas tree for their home without having to visit a store in person.

Customers using the high street giant’s IOS app will have the ability to see a decorated tree in their room in seconds, giving them the chance to ‘try before they buy’ instead of guessing which tree best fits their home.

Launching the John Lewis & Partners app, users can find the Virtual Christmas Tree feature by searching for Christmas Trees in the app and clicking the ‘View in room’ label on the trees that have the option to view virtually.

To see the tree in the room, users must then hold their phone towards the floor and move slowly from side to side to scan the room. A Christmas tree will appear after tapping a square to load it on the screen.   

After adding decorations, customers who are satisfied with the look can then buy their tree and adornments directly through the app.  

Currently only available on the IOS app, ‘Virtual Christmas Tree’ comes as John Lewis & Partners reports a huge demand for Christmas trees, with a 123 per cent increase compared to this time last year as the UK gets in the festive spirit earlier than ever. 

John Lewis has launched a new augmented reality feature on its IOS app that allows customers to 'try before they buy' Christmas trees (pictured)

John Lewis has launched a new augmented reality feature on its IOS app that allows customers to ‘try before they buy’ Christmas trees (pictured)

John Lewis took to Instagram to announce their new augmented reality feature, saying it will put an end to moving furniture for the arrival of Christmas trees

John Lewis took to Instagram to announce their new augmented reality feature, saying it will put an end to moving furniture for the arrival of Christmas trees 

Social media users have gushed that the new service is a ‘clever idea’, with many admitting they’re disappointed the feautre isn’t yet available on Android. 

The new virtual service allows customers to view a Christmas tree in their home decorated or undecorated. John Lewis claims the feature will help customers to narrow decisions as well as speed up shopping time.

Posting on Instagram, a spokesperson wrote: ‘Forget the obligatory furniture re-jig upon arrival of the Christmas tree, our new Virtual Christmas Tree AR feature allows you to find the perfect tree for your home before you buy it. Try it now via the John Lewis app available on iOS’ 

Racking up over 1,000 likes, responses to the post came from eager shoppers who dubbed the idea ‘genius’.

One person said: ‘Woah, what a fantastic idea! Definitely trying this’

‘Ahhh I can’t wait to try this!,’ another wrote.  

Christmas trees that are available to view virtually are labelled on the app, with a View in your room' button. Pictured: The app instructions

The app instructs users to point their camera towards the floor and slowly scan the area

Christmas trees that are available to view virtually are labelled on the app, with a View in your room’ button. Pictured: The app instructions 

John Lewis have reported an increase in the sales of Christmas trees in comparison with the same time last year

John Lewis have reported an increase in the sales of Christmas trees in comparison with the same time last year 

A stream of social media users have praised the virtual Christmas Tree feature, saying it's 'genius' and 'the future'

A stream of social media users have praised the virtual Christmas Tree feature, saying it’s ‘genius’ and ‘the future’

A fourth added: ‘THIS is what the future looks like!’ 

The launch of Virtual Christmas Tree follows the successful trials of John Lewis’ Virtual Lipstick feature launched last year and Virtual Sofa which launched in January.

Both experiences enabled customers the chance to test hundreds of lipstick colours or sofas and armchairs in real time before buying.

The ‘Virtual Christmas Tree’ technology was developed in-house, and is available to anyone using the John Lewis & Partners app on an IOS13 or later enabled device.

Cassandra Bergland who is the Director of Omnichannel, said: ‘Virtual Christmas Tree is certainly a lot of fun to use. You can browse trees of different shapes, sizes and colours and then choose whether to have the tree decorated or left natural. 

Users are instructed to tap a square box on their screen to load the Christmas tree. Pictured: The app instructions

Users are instructed to tap a square box on their screen to load the Christmas tree. Pictured: The app instructions 

The Christmas tree loads on the screen with the option to view with or without decorations (pictured)

The Christmas tree loads on the screen with the option to view with or without decorations (pictured) 

A spokesperson for John Lewis said the virtual service (pictured) will help customers to feel confident about their final purchase

A spokesperson for John Lewis said the virtual service (pictured) will help customers to feel confident about their final purchase

How to use Virtual Christmas Tree

  1. Open the John Lewis & Partners app
  2. Search or browse for Christmas Trees in the app and look for the ‘View in room’ label for trees that you can view virtually.
  3. Open the product page and tap the ‘View in your room’ button.
  4. Tap Get Started, hold the phone towards the floor and move slowly from side to side to scan the room
  5. When a square appears tap it to load the Christmas Tree onto the screen
  6. Double tap to turn dimensions off and on
  7. Use one finger to move the product around the screen and two fingers to rotate the product for a full 360 view
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‘The Virtual Christmas Tree feature gives customers the chance to explore the range in their own space before buying, meaning they can feel confident with their final choice.’

John Lewis have also seen an increase in sales this year for gift wrap, accessories and boxed cards.   

Jason Billings-Cray, Partner and Assistant Christmas Buyer, added: ‘The festive season may not be quite the same for everyone this year, so we are pleased to be able to bring some of the magical elements of Christmas shopping that you find in John Lewis shops to customers at home.

‘Choosing a Christmas tree can be a really special moment for any family as that tree can be with them many years, this may be a little different but all the family can see and choose one.’