Will try-on tech be the right fit for Walmart’s fashion business?
Walmart is looking to assure its new spring collections are the right fit for its customers. The retailing giant announced the rollout of try-on technology that it believes will lead to higher purchasing satisfaction and fewer merchandise returns.
The technology comes to Walmart via its acquisition last year of Zeekit, a virtual fitting room firm.
“One of the most frustrating aspects of shopping for clothes online is understanding how an item will actually look on you,” wrote Denise Incandela, EVP of apparel and private brands, Walmart U.S., in a company blog post. “With Zeekit, our goal is to deliver an inclusive, immersive and personalized digital experience that will better replicate physical shopping.”
The new technology is being made available to customers who use Walmart’s app or shop on walmart.com. The first phase will introduce the “Choose My Model” feature that enables customers to select an avatar in a similar size, shape and skin tone to their own.
Fifty model avatars ranging in height from 5’2” – 6’0” and in sizes from XS to XXXL are being offered initially with plans to add 70 others in the weeks to come that will expand the options for size, hair color and skin tone.
Walmart is focusing on owned and exclusive brands for the try-on tech rollout, including Free Assembly, Scoop, Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara, ELOQUII Elements, Time and Tru, Athletic Works, Terra & Sky, No Boundaries, Avia and The Pioneer Woman.
Plans are in place for the tech to be used with national brands beginning with Hane’s and Levi’s. The retailer is also planning to expand the use to apparel sold on its online marketplace, as well. Items compatible with Zeekit will be tagged to indicate that customers can try on clothing virtually.
Ms. Incandela described “Choose My Model” as a beginning for the retailer and its customers.
“We are also working to launch a virtual try-on experience for women’s apparel, moving with speed to bring this groundbreaking technology to our customers,” wrote Ms. Incandela. “With Zeekit’s visionary team, powered by the Walmart Global Technology platform in partnership with our Fashion Merchandising and ecommerce Site Merchandising organization, we have the incredible opportunity to revolutionize how our customers shop for clothes online.”
Walmart recently announced the launch of its spring collections for Free Assembly and Scoop. The new items mark the first full collections released under celebrity designer Robert Maxwell.
- Walmart Launches Zeekit Virtual Fitting Room Technology – Walmart
- Walmart puts its fashion storytelling skills to the test – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How will “Choose My Model” affect Walmart’s fashion reputation and sales? Will the technology have a significant impact on efforts to reduce returns?