As some shoppers reduce their spending on clothes, Walmart is rolling out a new tool that it hopes will nudge them toward clicking the “buy” button.
Starting this week, customers can use a virtual try-on tool to see how a shirt or another clothing item would look on their own bodies. It is the latest feature the company has added to its website because of the acquisition of Zeekit a vir fitting room startup.
The retailer launched its first iteration of the tool in March, which allowed shoppers to choose a model that resembles them in body type, skin tone, and hair color. It later expanded from 50 to 120 models. Other retailers have experimented with virtual try-on, too, including Amazon, which has a tool that uses augmented reality to allow shoppers to look at their appearance while standing
The newest feature for Walmart, “Be Your Own Model,” uses algorithms and machine learning technology that was originally used to develop more accurate topographic maps. Shoppers can use it to virtually try on more than 270,000 items across Walmart’s private brands, select items from national brands, such as Champion, Levi’s, and Hanes, and some sold on its third-party marketplace.
Customers can choose either option, using their own image or a similar model. With the personalized tool, the website uses a scan of a person’s body to provide a more realistic sense of how fabric drapes, a color looks, or where a sleeve or hem hits — without stepping inside of a store.
Walmart is unveiling the new tool at a time when selling new outfits has gotten tougher. As inflation drives up food prices, rent, and more, consumers have begun to decide where to cut back.
Denise Incandela, the executive vice president of apparel and private brands at Walmart U.S., said she wants to encourage more of those customers to fill their closets at Walmart, too.