New Features Put AR Shopping Experiences Right in Customers' Pockets – At Home and In Stores

June 23, 2022

3 Min. Read
Three different phone screens. The first screen, on the far left, shows the Walmart.com online shopping platform and a writing desk. Above the desk, the heading reads “Mainstays Hairpin Writing Desk.”

The second screen shows the same desk set within a room, bounded by dimensions.

The third screen shows the same desk, with the beige color selected and added to an online shopping cart.

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Editor's Note: On September 29, 2022, we expanded the feature to allow customers to view TVs in their home.

Editor’s Note: On July 1, 2022, we added some additional context in reference to the accessibility of the technology to reflect that it is currently in public beta.

We believe the closest store to our customers is in their pocket, and we are focused on making that always-on experience as easy, engaging and personalized as possible. Today, we announced two brand-new augmented reality (AR) features on the Walmart app designed to making shopping easier. 

The first feature we are excited to share is rolling out to all customers by early July on our iOS app and allows customers to view furniture and home décor items in their spaces with a few simple swipes on their phones. And now, starting in September, iOS users of the Walmart app will be able to view how a TV will look in their homes, so they can find the perfect fit for their space.

This experience will initially be available for 300 furniture and home décor items, with plans to expand to popular back-to-college items over the coming months. To access the feature, all a customer needs to do is click the ‘View in Your Home’ banner on AR enabled items when shopping in the Walmart app, and this will walk them through how to connect to their camera and see the item in their own space. They will also be able to toggle the item dimensions to check if the item will fit in their space and snap a picture for later, helping them feel confident purchasing with us. ‘View in Your Home’ will be available on iOS, with plans to roll out on Android and mobile web.

After extensively testing this feature with our own customers, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback, which helped ensure the experience is as seamless and user-friendly as possible. 

The visuals were so realistic and it didn’t place an item in a strange spot as with some other apps. I often don’t even try this feature in other apps for this reason but I’m very impressed. I really loved this experience.

Notably, the feature includes haptic feedback, which allows customers to feel vibrations as they maneuver 3D models around their homes and prevents them from dragging items past the boundaries of their room. This adds a compelling level of realism to the experience. We incorporated several key accessibility features currently in public beta such as gesture controls that enable customers to place an item within a room and maneuver it as well as the development of voice-based instructions and descriptions.

AR is also enabling new experiences in our stores, helping our associates get products to shelves quickly. Now Walmart Global Tech is developing a new AR in-store feature that changes how you’ll view key product information. You’ll never look at the store shelf in the same way again! The concept our technologists are building with Walmart designers will allow customers and associates to simply point their mobile device camera at our store shelves via the Walmart app to filter our assortment based on your personal preferences. 

Imagine you’re a customer who is gluten-free. Using the AR in-store tool, you’ll be able to use your phone to read food ingredients quickly and easily identify gluten-free products. Coupons are another future use case. For example, customers will also be able to scan store shelves to see which items are on rollback, clearance or part of a rewards program. Imagine the possibilities! Perhaps you could scan to see which items are on rollback or receive instant coupons.

All of these AR-powered features are helping us deliver fast, engaging and personalized experiences that take the work out of shopping and underscore our commitment to using technology to save customers time and money. To check out ‘View in Your Home,’ please download our app and start visualizing. We can’t wait to hear what you think.