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Walmart, Maybelline Use AR to Foster Shopper Confidence

Retailers are embracing augmented reality (AR) to improve consumer experiences, leave a lasting impact, foster greater confidence in the brand, and ultimately encourage purchases. This is critical in the turbulent sea of inflation and shifting consumer sentiments. 

Walmart’s approach is aimed at a specific category of products. 

Starting next month, customers shopping online can virtually try on over 750 pairs of eyeglasses, gaining a realistic preview of how the glasses will appear on them, as if they were looking into a mirror. This feature eliminates the need to visit a brick-and-mortar store. Users can check out this experience via the Walmart app or the company’s website, engaging with 3D representations of the latest frames facilitated by AR software.  

“We continue to focus on improving access and convenience for our customers by allowing them to shop how and where they want,” said David Reitnauer, VP Optical, Walmart Health & Wellness 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.” 

To enhance the experience even further, Walmart has also integrated artificial intelligence (AI) into its website to enhance customer experience by predicting preferences and suggesting complementary items for online purchases. 

Leaning Into AR

According to a PYMNTS report, Maybelline New York, the cosmetics brand, explored the introduction of its virtual makeup looks collection in collaboration with Microsoft. 

“Maybelline’s mission is to give everyone self-confidence to express their beauty. Whether you are working in-person or virtually, feeling good about yourself can help put your best foot forward,” said Trisha Ayyagari, global brand president of Maybelline New York.

“That’s why we partnered with Microsoft Teams to develop virtual makeup looks — now even on the busiest day, you can put makeup on with just a click. We hope we make people’s lives a little easier.” 

While Maybelline’s entry into Microsoft Teams may seem like an unexpected move, it signifies the company’s intent to harness the potential of technology and digital platforms.  

Maybelline’s presence on Teams presents an opportunity to directly introduce makeup-related content to potential consumers. Additionally, this digital strategy enables Maybelline to acquire valuable data and insights into its consumers’ preferences, behaviors, and interests. The brand can then refine its marketing strategies, guide product development, and inform future collaborations. 

Pushing AR Experiences

The market size for AR reached $42.2 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to increase from $62.75 billion in 2023 to a $1.1 trillion by 2030. 

The integration of AR into the shopping journey is more than a technological advancement. It is a catalyst for transforming how consumers perceive and engage with products. By providing a clearer understanding of products and their fit into consumers’ lives, AR becomes a key driver in boosting confidence and reshaping the future of retail.