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Walmart on Thursday launched a virtual dressing room tool to entice more online shoppers to buy clothing.
Be Your Own Model, which lets customers use their own photos to better visualize how the company's clothing will look on them, "creates a gamification of shopping that we believe will be very compelling to the customer," Walmart said.
The feature, which utilizes the Zeekit virtual try-on platform, is being rolled out to iOS users of the Walmart app, and it currently works for over 270,000 women's apparel items, according to the Arkansas-based retailer.
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"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," the company said.
The new feature comes as the nation's largest retailer, like its competitors, has been offering a slew of discounts to get rid of excess inventory.
Higher prices have been forcing shoppers to cut back on discretionary items, particularly clothing, that carry higher profit margins. However, the convenience of virtual dressing rooms could persuade even more shoppers to make a purchase, effectively helping the retailer get rid of even more discretionary items.
The feature is also a way to capitalize on the anticipated surge in demand for online shopping during the holiday season.
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Nick Handrinos, vice chair at Deloitte, said in a recent holiday sales forecast that higher costs are expected to drive a surge in e-commerce sales as more consumers seek out deals online "to maximize their spending."
Deloitte projected that e-commerce sales will grow between 12.8% to 14.3% compared with a year ago. Last holiday season, e-commerce sales grew 8.4%, Deloitte said.
The company says an earlier version of the feature, Choose My Model, that was launched earlier this year "was met with terrific customer response." The feature let customers pick out a model that resembles them to try on an item.
Walmart claims that the newest upgrade is the "most realistic application" on the market. The company also touted that it's the first to offer a virtual try-on experience for apparel brands at scale.
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