Walmart Adds Digital Eyeglass Fitting Company to Stable of AR Try-on Tools

Walmart Adds Eyeglass Fitting to AR Try-on Tools

After a three-year test drive in over 3,300 of its stores, Walmart said Wednesday (June 29) that it is acquiring California-based tech firm Memomi to bring its virtual optical try-on solution technology in-house.

In announcing the acquisition, Walmart said the deal not only allows it to continue offering a popular and fun shopping feature it has offered since 2019, but also reinforces the retailer’s commitment to frictionless omnichannel optical care.

“We’re excited to welcome the Memomi team to Walmart and add their capabilities to our leading virtual reality technology that is transforming the retail experience for our customers and members,” said Cheryl Ainoa, senior vice president of new businesses and emerging tech at Walmart Global Tech, in the company’s statement, which also noted the contact-free digital measurement service is already in use at 2,800 Walmart and 550 Sam’s Club locations.

Walmart described the latest acquisition of an augmented reality (AR) technology business “the next step” in its journey to offer “personalized, affordable access to optical care,” adding that it is also reflective of its broader strategy to grow its healthcare business via the increased use of data and technology.

“Customers are looking for access to care digitally, in their homes, and purchasing eyeglasses is no different,” said David Reitnauer, vice president of specialty services at Walmart Health and Wellness, in the statement, adding that the acquisition is part of the company’s mission to improve healthcare accessibility, engagement, equity and outcomes.

Walmart Going Digital

The Memomi acquisition is set to close in the coming weeks with a dozen or so employees being folded into the Walmart Global Tech unit. While terms of this latest deal were not disclosed, the purchase follows a similar acquisition done a year ago in which the Arkansas-based retailer bought apparel try-on firm Zeekit in what it said was part of an ongoing effort to expand its assortment and meet the increasingly online habits of its customers.

Read more: Walmart Buys Virtual Try-on Firm Zeekit in ‘Game-Changer’ for AI in Fashion

“Virtual try-on is a game-changer and solves what has historically been one of the most difficult things to replicate online: understanding fit and how an item will actually look on you,” Denise Incandela, executive vice president of apparel and private brands at Walmart U.S., said in the May 2021 announcement, noting that Zeekit would help the retail giant offer a more inclusive, immersive and personalized shopping experience.

Earlier this year, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the retailer is becoming an “increasingly digital business” and noted plans to make further investments in technology to support and grow that transformation.

See more: Walmart Says ‘Business Is Increasingly Digital,’ Pledges Further Investment in Tech

At the same time, new findings in the U.S. edition of PYMNTS Global Shopping Index have shown an increase in consumer demand for — and use of — retail digital solutions, with 25% of consumers saying they preferred a wholly digital shopping experience versus in-store.

Get the study: Global Digital Shopping