Walmart Just Made This Major Change for Online Shoppers
You might notice something new on the retailer's website.
Walmart sees a lot of foot traffic, with nearly 240 million shoppers visiting one of its stores each week. But its online site gets plenty of traffic as well. According to Similarweb, Walmart's website had more than 466 million visits in Dec. 2021 alone. Online visits don't necessarily translate to purchases, however, which is one reason why the retailer has been working to develop its online presence and draw customers away from competitors like Amazon. The retailer has made a number of recent changes with that in mind, including one that could transform your online shopping experience. Read on to find out about an exciting upgrade to the Walmart website.
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Walmart just rolled out a virtual fitting room service.
The fitting room experience with Walmart is going virtual. According to CNBC, the retailer just launched a new online tool called Choose My Model, which allows a shopper to pick a model who most closely resembles their height, shape, and skin tone when picking out clothing on the Walmart website. The new feature uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to show how various items of apparel will fit and flow on various bodies.
Cheryl Ainoa, the senior vice president of new businesses and emerging tech for Walmart Global Tech, told the news outlet that the retailer began testing the Choose My Model tool on its website and app early this year. "This feature currently offers customers the ability to select from 50 models between 5'2" to 6'0" in height and sizes XS to XXXL," Walmart said in a March 2 press release.
This service comes from a company Walmart acquired last year.
Choose My Model is the first rollout since Walmart acquired Zeekit. The start-up virtual fitting room company was bought by the retailer in May 2021, CNBC reported. "Virtual try-on is a game-changer and solves what has historically been one of the most difficult things to replicate online—understanding fit and how an item will actually look on you," Denise Incandela, the executive vice president of apparel and private brands for Walmart U.S., said in the website post last year.
She added, "Zeekit will help us deliver an inclusive, immersive and personalized experience for our diverse customer base."
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Walmart plans to enhance the feature over time.
The Choose My Model tool is currently in Beta and only available on select brands across Walmart's website, according to Ainoa. This includes exclusive brands such as Free Assembly, Scoop, and Sofia Jeans, but the retailer has plans to expand offerings for this tool in the coming months. National brands expected to be added include Hanes and Levi Strauss.
Walmart also plans to add 70 more models in the coming months after test feedback indicated that customers want to see even more models who reflect the diversity of shoppers, per Ainoa. But the virtual fitting room feature won't stop at artificial intelligence-based model choosing.
According to CNBC, the next phase of this service's rollout will include an actual virtual try-on feature. This will allow customers to upload their own photos to Walmart's website to see how clothing fits, and to share that photo with friends to get their thoughts.
The retailer is hoping this will push more shoppers to buy products online.
Initial shopper feedback for Walmart's entrance into the virtual fitting room space has been positive. Incandela told CNBC that the new Choose My Model tool makes customers more likely to click the "buy" button when shopping online, especially when picking items at higher price points or from a brand they are unfamiliar with. And the executive also said that there could end up being a lower rate of returns due to the service.
"Everything comes back to providing the customer with the confidence to make that purchase," Incandela said. "We want to have a best in class shopping experience online and we feel like this is shopping of the future and we wanted to lead the way."
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