Walmart’s new AR tech is built for the stores inside customers’ pockets
Walmart yesterday introduced two new augmented reality features designed to improve customers’ experience, whether they are shopping from home or in the retailer’s stores.
The first feature, which is scheduled to roll out early next month on Walmart’s iOS app with Android and mobile web versions to come, will allow shoppers to view furniture and home décor items in spaces within their homes. The retailer will initially make 300 products available for viewing and plans to expand the selection to back-to-college items in the months to come.
Walmart said that the “view in your space” AR feature was extensively tested with customers before the decision was made to make it widely available. The feedback was “overwhelmingly positive, according to a blog post by Brock McKeel senior site experience, Walmart eCommerce, and Cherly Ainoa, senior vice president, new businesses & emerging tech, Walmart Global Tech.
The chain’s customers are able to access the feature by clicking on “View in your space” banners on items in the Walmart app. They will then be walked through how to connect the camera and view the item they are interested in seeing their home environment. The feature’s functions enable customers to “toggle the item dimensions to check if the item will fit in their space and snap a picture for later.”
The “View in your space” feature also includes haptic feedback that emits vibrations as the user moves items around, preventing them from placing items past the boundaries of their rooms.
Walmart’s second AR feature is currently in development. When it is eventually ready for prime time, it will allow associates and customers to point their phone cameras at store shelves and get products based on personal preferences.
The blog’s authors used the example of people shopping for gluten-free products. They will, in the future, be able to get product information to determine if an item fits within their nutritional requirements. Customers may also be able to scan shelves and find rollback prices on specific items or instantly get coupons for additional savings.
- New Features Put AR Shopping Experiences Right in Customers’ Pockets – At Home and In Stores – Walmart
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is augmented reality technology becoming a must-have for retailers selling furniture and home décor? What do you see as the most compelling use cases for AR inside of stores?