Walmart introduces AR eyewear try-on tech

2024/02/01 Innoverview Read

Dive Brief:

  • Adding another tech tool to its services, Walmart is enabling customers to virtually try on eyewear with augmented reality technology, the retail giant announced Tuesday.

  • Using the Walmart website or app, shoppers can click the “try them on” icon on an eyewear product page. Customers can virtually try on more than 750 eyewear options and customize their lenses by uploading a prescription and allowing a facial scan to capture pupillary distance measures. Walmart states that it uses 3D data and algorithms to create a digital twin of eyewear frames. 

  • After ordering their eyewear online, customers can bring their glasses to a Walmart Vision Center and receive additional assistance from an optician, per the press release.

Dive Insight:

In addition to providing AR try-on technology, Walmart has been scaling up its vision operations. The company plans to have more than 3,000 Vision Centers across the U.S. by the end of this year. The retailer also said it spent last year enhancing its certification and licensure programs and increased pay for over 4,000 opticians. 

“We continue to focus on improving access and convenience for our customers by allowing them to shop how and where they want,” David Reitnauer, vice president of Optical at Walmart Health & Wellness, said in a statement. “With the launch of optical virtual try-on and online prescription eyewear shopping, we are taking the next step to help customers see better to live better.”

The rollout of Walmart’s AR eyewear try-on tool follows the retailer’s acquisition of Memomi in 2022. The AR optical tech company had been providing its digital measurement tools to Walmart and Sam’s Club customers since 2019. Walmart has also introduced AR try-on capabilities for makeupfurniture and decor.  

Meanwhile, other companies have entered the eyewear virtual try-on game. In 2019, Warby Parker debuted its virtual testing tool to let shoppers visualize glasses using their smartphones. Two years later, Perfect Corp., which later partnered with Walmart for its cosmetic testing tool, deployed its 3D augmented reality technology to let shoppers preview glasses. 

Besides adding more tech tools, Walmart recently announced a slew of initiatives. This week, Walmart said it would offer Supercenter store managers in the U.S. $20,000 in annual stock grants beginning in April, an announcement it made after raising store manager salaries earlier this year and redesigning its bonus structure. On Tuesday, the company announced plans to conduct a three-for-one stock split, a maneuver aimed at keeping the stock price at an affordable level for store staffers. The retailer also announced plans to build or convert over 150 stores by 2029 as well as remodel 650 stores during the next 12 months.