Walmart Adding New AR Shopping Features to Its App

Experience will initially roll out to home decor and furniture items
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Walmart AR
Coming in July, Walmart's newest AR feature will allow customers to see furniture in their homes with a few swipes of their smartphones.

In an always-on world, Walmart Inc. is taking the lead on helping its customers get the best shopping experience possible both at home and in-store. As such, the retailer is working to add two new augmented reality features to its app.

The first feature, which will roll out to the iOS app in early July with plans for Android availability in the future, will let shoppers view about 300 home decor and furniture items in their homes. The experience will be available for other products, including back-to-college gear, in the next few months. Haptic feedback will allow customers to feel vibrations as they move 3D models around their homes, and blind or low-vision shoppers can use voice-based instructions and descriptions.

“After extensively testing this feature with our own customers, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback, which helped ensure the experience is as seamless and user-friendly as possible,” wrote Walmart’s Brock McKeel, SVP of site experience, Walmart E-Commerce, and Cheryl Ainoa, SVP of new businesses and emerging tech, Walmart Global Tech, in a company blog post.

“The visuals were so realistic and it didn’t place an item in a strange spot as with some other apps,” shared one user. “I often don’t even try this feature in other apps for this reason but I’m very impressed. I really loved this experience.”

Additionally, Walmart Global Tech is developing an in-store augmented reality feature that allows customers and associates to point their mobile device camera at store shelves using the Walmart app to filter assortment based on personal preferences.  

“Imagine you’re a customer who is gluten-free. Using the AR in-store tool, you’ll be able to use your phone to read food ingredients quickly and easily identify gluten-free products,” McKeel and Ainoa explained. “Coupons are another future use case. For example, customers will also be able to scan store shelves to see which items are on rollback, clearance or part of a rewards program. Imagine the possibilities! Perhaps you could scan to see which items are on rollback or receive instant coupons.”

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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