Walmart adds new dimension to virtual beauty try-on

Walmart is offering virtual hair color try-on via its iOS app.

Walmart is expanding how customers can use augmented reality (AR) to assist in shopping for beauty products.

In an email to Chain Store Age, a Walmart spokesperson said the discount giant is enhancing its virtual try-on makeup experience to now include hair color products. The hair color feature is currently only available in the Walmart app on iOS devices.

Hair color brands available for virtual try-on include Revlon, Lime Crime, Schwarzkopf, Clairol, Got2b, Nice and Easy, Madison Reed, SoftSsheen, Splat and EverPro. 

"This is another example of Walmart continuing to innovate to improve the customer experience with AR," the spokesperson said in the email. According to Walmart, its virtual try-on technology is leading to more purchases and fewer returns.

Walmart lets shoppers ‘try before you buy’ - virtually

This is not Walmart’s first dive into virtual try-on technology. It follows the February 2024 rollout of an AR-enhanced eyewear shopping feature, as well as the October 2023 introduction of a virtual try-on makeup experience supported by artificial intelligence (AI) and AR beauty and fashion technology company Perfect Corp. in the Walmart iOS app. 

The virtual makeup experience allows Walmart customers to virtually try-on cosmetics products across the blush, lip color, eye shadow and bronzer categories. Walmart noted that the technology does not store customer data.

In 2021, the company acquired Zeekit, a female-founded, Israeli-based virtual fitting room start-up that uses augmented reality to allow shoppers to virtually try on clothes. And in 2022, Walmart acquired Memomi, an AR optical technology company that provides technology to enhance the virtual optical try-on experience.

In a slightly different effort to give customers a virtual advance preview of how certain products might look, in 2019 Walmart also offers an AR-enabled capability on its iOS app called "View in Your Home" that enables shoppers to view furniture and home décor items in their personal spaces with a few swipes on their phones. It is available for items in categories including furniture, home décor, and back-to-college.

Walmart also developed an AR-based in-store feature that will allow customers and associates to point their mobile device camera at store shelves via the Walmart app to filter the assortment based on their personal preferences. 

Based in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart Inc. operates more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 19 countries.

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