Walmart Revolutionizes Retail with Augmented Reality and AI Innovations

Walmart is leveraging augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize its retail operations, significantly enhancing digital sales and introducing innovative applications. These technologies are transforming customer experiences through virtual try-ons, showroom experiences, and digital twins.

Desirée Gosby, vice president of emerging technology at Walmart Global Tech, highlights the importance of AR in boosting customer engagement and productivity. She emphasizes the need for industry-wide standardization to advance the development of digital twins and adapt store configurations for diverse product mixes.

Walmart’s commitment to AR intensified about 2.5 years ago, with the retailer exploring additional technologies like spatial awareness and conversational AI to create transformational experiences. The focus is on delivering immersive, interactive, and social shopping journeys that extend beyond visual representation.

Walmart’s core AR platform, Retina, supports these innovations, enabling the creation of experiences that range from virtual try-ons in beauty and apparel to interactive product visualizations in customers’ homes.

Walmart Revolutionizes Retail with Augmented Reality and AI Innovations
Walmart Revolutionizes Retail with Augmented Reality and AI Innovations

The company has rolled out several AR applications that have positively impacted conversion rates, return rates, and add-to-cart rates. Among these innovations are dynamic showrooms, the Shop With Friends app, and upcoming features like AR paint.

Customers can virtually try on items and share their experiences with friends, fostering a more engaging shopping process. These efforts align with Walmart’s goal of evolving AR experiences to meet the expectations of tech-savvy customers seeking more immersive and convenient shopping options.

Walmart’s long-term vision includes creating AR experiences that rival in-person shopping’s interactivity and social aspects. In addition to customer-facing technologies, Walmart is enhancing productivity for its associates using AR.

By integrating AR with smartphones and spatial computing, employees can locate products more efficiently, enhancing the overall customer service experience. The company is also exploring the potential of XR headsets and glasses for future large-scale deployment to further streamline operations.

Training is another area where Walmart employs advanced technologies. VR headsets are used for various training scenarios, including active shooter drills, enabling comprehensive coverage in a short period.

With over 2.1 million global employees, these technologies are crucial for saving time and reducing costs. The goal is to make associates more effective in their roles by minimizing friction and optimizing processes through AR assets.

Walmart’s tech innovations are robust and scalable, suitable for widespread implementation across its vast workforce. The company is also exploring digital commerce opportunities within gaming environments, reflecting its strategy to meet customers’ needs wherever they are.

Partnering with Unity and integrating purchasing options into games like House Flip illustrates Walmart’s multifaceted approach to AR. This journey aims to combine various technologies to create a seamless, multimodal shopping experience that goes beyond traditional retail boundaries.

Michael Manua
Michael Manua
Michael, a seasoned market news expert with 29 years of experience, offers unparalleled insights into financial markets. At 61, he has a track record of providing accurate, impactful analyses, making him a trusted voice in financial journalism.
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