BENTONVILLE, Ark.—In a program ramping up nationwide that will be marketed next month, Walmart, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is debuting its own augmented reality optical try-on to enable customers to visualize and customize eyeglass fits. The company talked about its approach in a corporate blog post that went live yesterday, noting that its approach will be to offer the VTO service in what it calls "adaptive retail." The company explained in its post, "At Walmart, we are committed to being there for our customers—whenever, wherever and however they choose to shop with us, the customer is at the center of everything we do.

"We strive to streamline the entire shopping experience, seamlessly integrating it into our customers' daily lives. Adaptive retail is how we help deliver on our purpose of 'live better,' so customers can shop more seamlessly across platforms and space." The blog added, "We are excited to announce that we will be expanding this offering to enhance the way customers shop for eyewear with our new Optical Virtual Try-On. Beginning next month, customers will be able to virtually 'try on' frames and purchase prescription eyewear online through the Walmart app or directly on"

"As a company, our commitment is to provide our customers with a shopping experience that exceeds expectations—one that is easy, engaging and personalized. With our latest addition, we are offering our customers yet another dimension of choice, meeting them exactly where they are in their shopping journey. This is a testament to our continuous efforts to redefine and elevate the shopping experience," said Tom Ward, EVP and chief eCommerce officer Walmart U.S.

The company's post also stated, "We know that helping customers better visualize how products will look in real life not only saves them time but also gives them confidence that the items they need are going to work for them and their lives. With adaptive retail, Walmart is bringing the best aspects of any one channel to the other, so in recent years, Walmart has increased investments in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to better assist customers in envisioning how fashion, beauty and home items would look virtually."

In June 2022, as VMAIL reported, Walmart acquired Memomi Labs, Inc. "to grow its commitment to frictionless and omnichannel optical care, stating the deal would further Walmart Health & Wellness' strategy to deliver integrated, omnichannel health care."

Walmart's executives discuss the move as part of its "See it, believe it" elevated shopping experience in its vision centers. "While the concept of virtual try-on is not new, Walmart is taking it to the next level. Unlike other platforms, Walmart uses 3D data and advanced algorithms to create a digital twin of eyewear frames, resulting in a more realistic virtual try-on (VTO) experience."

David Reitnauer, VP Optical, Walmart Health & Wellness.

To virtually “try-on” more than 750 trend-focused eyewear options on or in the Walmart app, users can click on the 'Try them on' flag in the main image on the product page. It allows a facial scan so the customer can view the glasses as if they were wearing them looking in the mirror. Next, the patient can customize the lenses that work best and upload a valid prescription.

A scan captures pupillary distance measurements and enables the customer to add customized glasses to a cart. The company stated to customers, "Our trained opticians in Vision Centers across the country are ready to help answer questions throughout the process. Once you receive your online shipment, you can visit your local Walmart Vision Center and work with an optician to get any finishing touches."

Stated David Reitnauer, VP Optical, Walmart Health & Wellness, “As a trusted health and wellness destination for over 33 years, we are dedicated to expanding our assortment and services to ensure we’re meeting our customers’ evolving needs—to live better and healthier lives. We continue to focus on improving access and convenience for our customers by allowing them to shop how and where they want. With the launch of Optical Virtual Try-On and online prescription eyewear shopping, we are taking the next step to help customers see better to live better.”

Reitnauer and the company emphasized their goal is "to deliver a 'One Walmart' experience for customers at Vision Centers across the country, no matter where or how they shop.

They noted that over the past year, significant investments in Walmart Vision Centers have included an expansion of assortment, offering more than 1,000 frames under $150 to provide customers with on-trend eyewear at everyday low prices and growing its assortment to include on-trend brands to meet customer demands for affordable, stylish options.

The company has "reimagined" its vision center shopping experience in stores around the country "to focus on what customers have shared is important to them, including elevated storefronts. By the end of this year, we will have over 3,000 Vision Centers nationwide, allowing customers to easily fill valid prescriptions for prescription eyewear, sunglasses, reading glasses and contact lenses."

Walmart Vision has also invested in its associates, last year launching new certification and licensure programs "leading to higher-paying roles and more career opportunities, and increased pay for over 4,000 opticians. "Investing in our associates and helping them grow their careers with new skills and knowledge is our top priority," the company said. VMAIL reported on this in June.