Walmart launched Choose My Model, a virtual tool powered by computer vision and artificial intelligence on the company’s website and app that allows shoppers to pick a person who resembles their height, shape and skin tone to show how clothes would fit, according to a (March 2) press release.
Choose My Model is the first product launched that’s tied to Walmart’s acquisition of Zeekit in May, and will help shoppers imagine how clothing would look on them without having to go to a store.
“Everything comes back to providing the customer with the confidence to make that purchase,” said Denise Incandela, executive vice president of apparel and private brands for Walmart U.S. “We want to have a best-in-class shopping experience online, and we feel like this is shopping of the future and we wanted to lead the way.”
The Choose My Model tool makes customers more likely to click the “buy” button, especially on higher-priced items from an unfamiliar brand, she said, and could lead to a lower return rate. The virtual try-on tool could help Walmart regain its spot atop the apparel retail list, which it lost to Amazon during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walmart’s U.S. eCommerce sales were up 11% in the most recent fiscal year and jumped 90% from two years ago.
Choose My Model is in beta testing and is available on items from Walmart’s exclusive brands, including Free Assembly, Scoop and Sofia Jeans, with national brands including Hanes and Levi Strauss expected to be added in the coming months. It features 50 models, with another 70 coming to the platform.
Walmart will also add a virtual try-on feature to allow shoppers to upload their own photos to see how clothing fits and share that photo with friends.
Walmart acquired Israeli AI startup Zeekit in May to help it grow its eCommerce and fashion sales.
“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,” wrote Incandela in a blog post announcing the deal last spring.