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Walmart Wants You to ‘Be Your Own Model’ with Expanded Virtual Try-On Service

Walmart is expanding its virtual try-on service.

The Arkansas-based big box retailer announced on Thursday that it has launched the next phase of its virtual try-on technology with “Be Your Own Model.”

According to Denise Incandela, EVP of apparel and private brands at Walmart U.S., this experience allows customers to use their own photo to better visualize how clothing will look on them. In a blog post, Incandela added that this service is a “gamification of shopping” and is the first to offer a virtual try-on experience for apparel brands at scale.

Incandela added that with Be Your Own Model, a customer can see an “ultra-realistic simulation” with shadows, fabric draping and where clothing falls on their figure. “For example, a single shirt can come in six different colors, seven different sizes and two sleeve lengths,” she wrote. “Our technology captures all the variations and shows how they look uniquely on each individual.”

If an item is enabled for virtual try-on, customers will see the “Try It On” button on the item page and have the option to view clothing on themselves (Be Your Own Model) or another model (Choose My Model). To use the Be Your Own Model feature, the customer will be prompted to take a picture of themselves within the Walmart iOS app. Once an image is saved, the customer will be able to view themselves as the model each time they use the virtual try-on experience.

The feature is now available on more than 270,000 items across Walmart’s portfolio of brands and private brands, including Free Assembly, Scoop, Sofia Jeans and Sofia Active by Sofia Vergara, Love & Sports, Eloquii Elements, Time & Tru, Athletic Works, Terra & Sky, No Boundaries, Avia and The Pioneer Woman. Select items from some of the retailer’s national brands like Champion, Levi’s and Hanes, and even some items on the Walmart Marketplace, are also part of the new experience.

Walmart Be Your Own Model App, Zeekit
CREDIT: Courtesy of Walmart

Be Your Own Model is currently rolling out to iOS users of the Walmart app. Shortly, iOS users will also be able to take their image in the Walmart app to use the feature on desktop or web. It will be available on Android devices in the coming weeks.

“We believe the largest and closest store to our customers is the one in their pockets,” added Incandela.

This new service is made possible through Walmart’s May 2021 acquisition of Zeekit, a female-founded and Israeli-based virtual fitting room tech company.

Following the acquisition last year, Walmart first launched Zeekit technology in March to users of the Walmart app and Walmart.com, starting with the “Choose My Model” experience. This feature offers customers the ability to select from models between 5’2” – 6’0” in height and sizes XS – XXXL. Customers can determine the model who best represents their height, body shape and skin tone to understand how an item will look on them.

This launch comes one month after the big-box chain said it is cancelling orders to help it right-size inventory excesses. In a call with investors announcing results for the second quarter last month, Walmart CFO John Rainey said the company has “canceled billions in orders” to deal with inventory pileups that have amassed over the last few quarters.

Overall, Walmart beat expectations for earnings and revenues in Q2, after it slashed its outlook for the quarter in July. The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.77 versus an expected $1.62. Total revenue was $152.9 billion, up 8.4%, compared to estimates of $150.81 billion. Walmart U.S. comp-store sales were up 6.5%.

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