Walmart Introduces AR Tools for Shoppers, Associates

Walmart has introduced AR features on its mobile app to enhance how shoppers view key product information in stores, and view furniture and decor in their own spaces.

Walmart has introduced two augmented reality (AR) features on the Walmart mobile app designed to making shopping easier at home and in stores. 

The first feature will roll out to all shoppers by early July on Walmart’s iOS app to enable shoppers to view furniture and home decor items in their spaces with a few swipes on their smart phones, according to a news release. 

graphical user interface, application

The experience will initially be available for 300 furniture and home decor items, with plans to expand to popular back-to-college items over the coming months.

To access the feature, shoppers can click the “View in your space” banner on AR enabled items when shopping in the Walmart app, which will walk them through how to connect to their camera and see the item in their own space. They will also be able to toggle the item dimensions to check if the item will fit in their space and snap a picture for later. After beginning on iOS devices, the “View in your space” banner will later roll out on Android and mobile web.

The roll out follows “extensive testing” of this feature with Walmart’s own shoppers, which the retailer says has received “overwhelmingly positive feedback” to ensure the experience is seamless and user-friendly. 

Notably, the feature uses haptic feedback, which allows shoppers to feel vibrations as they maneuver 3D models around their homes and prevents them from dragging items past the boundaries of their room. Haptic technology is also known as kinesthetic communication or 3D touch that creates an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations or motions to the user.

Walmart incorporated several accessibility features partially aimed at helping ensure shoppers with disabilities can use these new features. For example,  shoppers with limited mobility can place an item within a room and maneuver it with gesture controls. For customers who are blind or have low vision, the experience offers voice-based instructions and descriptions.

AR is also enabling new experiences in Walmart stores to assist associates putting products on shelves quickly. Walmart Global Tech, the technology and business services organization within Walmart, is developing a new AR in-store feature intended to enhance how shoppers view key product information. The retailer’s technologists and designers are building aims to enable both shoppers and associates to point their mobile device camera at store shelves via the Walmart app to filter its assortment based on their personal preferences. 

Shoppers looking for gluten-free options will be able to use the AR in-store tool via their mobile device to read food ingredients quickly and easily identify relevant products. Coupons are another future use case, according to Walmart. Shoppers will also be able to scan store shelves to see which items are on rollback, clearance or part of a rewards program.