Walmart brought 3D virtual shopping to its website on Wednesday, allowing customers to browse items in a virtual apartment. The products filling the model apartment are all items customers can buy, with the goal of helping customers make decisions by placing prospective purchases in a functional space.
The virtual apartment showcases nearly 70 products, and lets users click on on items for more information, according to a Walmart press release.
Another feature coming to Walmart's online shopping experience in July, called Buy the Room, will build on this idea, allowing customers to place a group if items in their online cart to purchase a complete look, the release noted. Walmart will initially cater the effort to college students by featuring five curated collections with 20 of the most popular items college student search for and purchase.
Digital transformation efforts are not new for Walmart. From experimenting with VR training, order-by-text service, and cashier-less stores, to implementing automated pick up stations, cloud computing technology, and mobile shopping experiences, Walmart competes with digital native Amazon as one of the most innovative retail brands that is exploring different omnichannel experiences to attract and retain customers.
With the decline of brick and mortar stores, businesses must keep up with digital natives to stay alive. Walmart's ever-evolving digital retail platform not only keeps them relevant, but successful, acting as a model for struggling retailers.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Walmart introduced 3D virtual shopping on Wednesday, which allows users to see products in a model apartment space.
- The 3D virtual shopping adds to the long list of Walmart's digital transformation efforts, along with the Buy the Room project, expected to launch in July.
- Data, AI, IoT—The future of retail (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)
- Digital transformation in retail: How consumers are using tech to make shopping easier and more enjoyable (TechRepublic)
- Walmart reportedly exploring cashier-less stores (ZDNet)
- Virtual reality for business: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- Walmart introduces 3D virtual online shopping (CNET)
- VR and AR sales are dying, but the enterprise could bring them back to life (TechRepublic)
Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is a Multiplatform Reporter for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.