Walmart and Amazon are racing to offer the best virtual trial

As augmented reality and virtual reality expand e-commerce capabilities, Walmart And Amazon are stepping up their digital trial capabilities to drive conversion.

Walmart shared in an email announcement Wednesday (March 6) that it is expanding its existing business Beauty virtual try-on options through the app to include hair color options. The opportunity includes nearly 500 products in the category to date. The retailer’s other virtual try-on categories include cosmetics and apparel. At the end of January, the chain launched an augmented reality try-on for glasses.

Amazon, for its part, praised it try it out virtually capabilities in a Tuesday (March 5) blog post, noting that the option is available for products from popular brands including Adidas, Ray Ban, L’Oréal and others.

“Amazon’s Virtual Try-On feature brings the shopping experience to your mobile device by using augmented reality so you can visualize a new pair of sneakers or sunglasses for yourself, as well as lip colors and eye shadows in real time, wherever you are,” the post said mentioned, noting that the option can help shoppers feel “confident in.” [their] purchase.”

By the numbers

Walmart’s latest move comes as it looks to narrow the e-commerce gap between itself and its digitally native competitor. The November edition of PYMNTS’ “Whole Paycheck Report” series, “Amazon is expanding its lead over Walmart in retail spending”, drew from earnings reports combined with national data from the US Census Bureau And Bureau of Economic Analysis. The report estimates that Amazon has an 8.2% share of consumer retail spending, while Walmart has 7.2%. However, specifically for e-commerce, that gap widens dramatically: 53.3% for the former and 6.8% for the latter.

Expanded reality capabilities can drive sales and loyalty, with a segment of consumers seeking these types of immersive e-commerce experiences, according to research from PYMNTS Intelligence’s “How We Will Pay Report: How Connected Devices Enable Multitasking Among Digital First Consumers,” based on a survey of more than 4,600 U.S. consumers.

For example, of the 95% of consumers who own or have at least one connected device in their home, 38% say they are very or extremely interested in using virtual technology to see what things look like in their room before purchasing them. and 6% were already doing so. Additionally, 32% said they would also be interested in being able to use virtual reality technology to purchase retail products that were in a physical store from their home or office, and 4% were already doing so .

The virtual try-on tree

Virtual try-ons offer consumers a more convenient shopping experience and give them the chance to feel more confident in their purchase without having to visit a physical store. This convenience meets consumers’ desire for efficient and hassle-free shopping experiences from the comfort of their homes.

Additionally, virtual tasting experiences can be engaging and interactive, capturing customers’ attention and encouraging them to spend more time exploring different products. This increased engagement can lead to higher conversion rates and ultimately drive sales for retailers.

Additionally, by allowing customers to virtually try on products before making a purchase, retailers can reduce the number of returns due to sizing or fit issues. This not only saves time and resources for both the retailer and the customer, but also improves customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Virtual tasting options are increasing in terms of the options available to consumers and the adoption of the technology by shoppers. The February launch of the Apple VisionPro headset, which came alongside 600 new apps and games, brought with it a wide range of new apps and games ecommerce experiences ranging from fashion to cosmetics to household items. Additionally, L’Oréal touted in its earnings call last month that it saw a 150% increase year over year virtual try-ons.

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