Retail giant Walmart has introduced artificial reality (AR) technology within its mobile app for customers to visualise furniture, fashion, and now beauty items.

The new beauty virtual try-on experience aims to provide a true-to-life virtual makeover experience in real-time. It’s now available for more than 1,400 blush/bronzer, eyeshadow and lip colour products across Walmart’s assortment, including Revlon, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and Nyx Professional Makeup.

Walmart’s other AR tools include a ‘View in Your Home’ feature that allows customers to see how furniture and home décor will look in their home before purchasing, as well as try-on technology for clothes shopping.

This expansion is in line with GlobalData’s intelligence on AR in retail and apparel, which forecasts significant growth in the coming years as internationally renowned retailers continue to announce their ambitions to enter the metaverse to increase brand awareness and appeal to a tech-savvy younger consumer base.

However, there is still a long way to go before AR can be a convincing substitute for being able to see products in-store, as the technology is still in its nascent stage.

Walmart’s other technology investments

Walmart is investing in generative AI (GenAI) for specific use cases in its search tool, assisting customers with complex purchases, and to aid in decision-making by creating tools that highlight priority product features and condense reviews into concise summaries.

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The retailer is also in the early stages of developing a GenAI tool for home design. Customers can share their budget, theme and any other preferences to receive personalised assistance, powered by GenAI, in designing a room. 

In 2022, Walmart launched ‘Text to Shop’ for customers to make purchases via chat. Following this, the retailer is reportedly testing a voice experience in the Walmart mobile app that allows customers to shop hands-free. Potential capabilities include enabling customers to shop using voice commands, engaging in back-and-forth conversations with the assistant, and booking pickup and delivery time slots.