Walmart Adds More AR, Focusing On Speed And Ease

Walmart is adding new augmented reality tools to its app 
to make the site easier to shop -- and help it win more sales in the upcoming holiday quarter.

The first, 'View in your home,' lets users see potential home furnishing and décor purchases in their living space. It recognizes walls and includes haptic feedback, ensuring shoppers can see what the purchase looks like and that it fits.

Shoppers feel the vibrations as they move the 3D models around their homes, stopping them from dragging items past the room's boundaries, making the experience more real.

Compared to early AR efforts, it's got improved realism and lighting.

"We've also turned it on for TVs," says Brock McKeel, senior vice president of site experience, "and we're excited about the results we're seeing there."



And as the retailer looks for new categories to introduce that technology, it's hoping to "allow users to have some fun with it, making sure it's personalized to them, that they can see what they're shopping for in their space."

Part of the challenge of such add-ons is that while retailers have been experimenting with AR for years, the experience has often been clunky, slow and unrewarding.

McKeel tells Marketing Daily these latest introductions are based on extensive testing and customer feedback.

"We put the customer in the center of everything we do and integrate their feedback, streamlining their experience."

The main goal is speed. "We want to make shopping faster, finding ways to make shopping more engaging and personalized."

From there, "the 'Buy Now’ feature gets them through the checkout as fast as possible, onto the next moment in that customer's busy life."

The new AR tools also aim to inspire confidence about purchases, especially high-demand items. "We want it to be super easy for them to see, making sure it feels good and looks good in their home. When it arrives, we want it to meet their expectations."

AR also enables new in-store experiences, allowing customers to point their mobile device camera at a shelf, using the app, to learn more about the item. Eventually, it may also let users know if coupons are available for that item. 

Walmart has also recently expanded its virtual try-on functions for apparel.

McKeel says future add-ons will come from "getting more customer feedback and finding those moments where we can interact with them, saving them time. We want to make the experience as seamless as possible, especially during the holidays."

The more consumers enjoy it, he says, "the more we think they'll continue to come back for us, not only on these items but for other experiences that we're bringing to life."

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