by John Russel Jones

Walmart is continuing to make moves to establish itself as a destination for fashion by prioritizing the creation and introduction of innovative shopping experiences that help customers discover the assortment and enable new and existing customers to shop with confidence. The acquisition and implementation of the Zeekit virtual try-on platform are a huge part of that strategy. Earlier this year, the company introduced the first implementation of the game-changing technology Choose My Model, which was met with terrific customer response.

Now Walmart is embarking on the next phase of its virtual try-on technology with Be Your Own Model, an industry-leading technology that brings the in-store fitting room experience to online shoppers. This experience allows customers to use their own photos to better visualize how clothing will look on them and creates a gamification of shopping that the retailer believes will be very compelling to its customer. Walmart is the first to offer a virtual try-on experience for apparel brands at scale.

The technology accomplishes this key differentiator with algorithms and intricate machine learning models — techniques originally utilized in developing highly accurate topographic maps — to show how an item of clothing will look on someone. Other experiences typically lay a photo of an item on top of another image, making it appear computer-generated. With Be Your Own Model, a customer sees an ultra-realistic simulation with shadows, fabric draping, and where clothing falls on their figure in seconds. For example, a single shirt can come in six different colors, seven different sizes, and two sleeve lengths. The technology captures all the variations and shows how they look uniquely on each individual.

The feature is now available on more than 270,000 items across Walmart’s portfolio of exclusive, elevated brands and private brands, including Free Assembly, Scoop, Sofia Jeans and Sofia Active by Sofia Vergara, Love & Sports, ELOQUII Elements, Time & Tru, Athletic Works, Terra & Sky, No Boundaries, Avia and The Pioneer Woman. Select items from some of our national brands like Champion, Levi’s, and Hanes, and even some items on the Walmart Marketplace, are also part of the new experience, and our portfolio of participating brands will continue to grow.

It’s also incredibly easy to use. If an item is enabled for virtual try-on, customers will see the “Try It On” button on the item page and have the option to view clothing on themselves (Be Your Own Model) or another model (Choose My Model). To use the Be Your Own Model feature, the customer will be prompted to take a picture of themselves within the Walmart iOS app. Once an image is saved, the customer will be able to view themselves as the model each time they use the virtual try-on experience.

Be Your Own Model is currently rolling out to iOS users of the Walmart app. Shortly, iOS users will also be able to take their image in the Walmart app to use the feature on desktop or web. It will be available on Android devices in the coming weeks. Launching this next iteration of virtual try-on technology delivers on our continuous goal of making online shopping an inclusive, engaging and personalized experience that better replicates in-store shopping.