Retail giant Walmart Inc. (No. 2 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000) launched a new online tool to help shoppers virtually try on apparel before purchasing.
Walmart added a new feature called Be Your Own Model to its website and mobile app. The function allows customers using its iOS mobile app to upload photos of themselves and use the pictures to visualize better how clothing items would look on them. Once a customer saves an image, they can use it to view themselves as the model each time they use the virtual try-on tool. An Android version of Be Your Own Model is coming in a few weeks, Walmart says.
The Be Your Own Model tool enhances Walmart’s virtual try-on capability rolled out in March. Initially, shoppers could virtually try on apparel by choosing a pre-loaded virtual model that resembled them. Walmart calls that feature Choose Your Model. Technology from Zeekit, a virtual fitting-room vendor Walmart acquired last year, powers Walmart’s virtual try-on functionality.
Brock McKeel, senior vice president of site experience in Walmart’s ecommerce operation, says enhancing the virtual try-on experience is about giving shoppers more confidence when they buy online.
“We are really excited about this,” McKeel says.
He says seeing a representation of themselves in outfits will give shoppers more faith in their decisions. It also could reduce returns, which he says are costly for the retailer and inconvenient for customers.
“We want to make sure that when they buy, what they buy fits appropriately [and] it is what they thought they were buying,” McKeel says.
The goal, he says, is to reduce friction in the purchase process and keep customers coming back. The Be Your Own Model feature is now available on more than 270,000 items. That includes some items on the Walmart Marketplace, Walmart says.
Additional website changes
For grocery shoppers, McKeel says, the retailer made website and app improvements to make shopping easier for customers using government benefits. He says site improvements make it easier for shoppers to know whether grocery items are eligible for purchase using electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards. EBT cards allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to pay for food using SNAP benefits.
Walmart has been part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s SNAP Online Purchasing program since 2019.
McKeel says Walmart also refreshed its online gift registry process. Upgrades include new recommended items, available on the web and coming soon to the registry on the retailer’s mobile app. Improvements will soon include a new Scan to Add. This feature will allow customers to scan in-store items using the Walmart app and add them directly to a registry.
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