Need to Know
- Walmart has announced a deal to acquire Zeekit, a platform that offers virtual fitting room software.
- Walmart shoppers will be able to use Zeekit to virtually try on apparel sold by Walmart.
- Customers can use the tool by either uploading a photo of themselves or by choosing from different models.
- Zeekit also allows shoppers to share images of virtual outfits with friends.
Walmart is making it easier for customers to confidently shop for clothing online, announcing that it has acquired virtual try-on platform Zeekit.
The acquisition, which was made for an undisclosed amount, will allow Walmart’s online customers to virtually “try on” apparel sold by the retailer, including its own in-house brands as well as national brands such as Free People, Champion, ELOQUII, and Levi’s Strauss. To do so, customers can upload a photo of themselves, or select from different models made available by Walmart and Zeekit encompassing different heights, sizes, and skin colors. Zeekit also allows shoppers to share images of the outfits they’re virtually trying on with their friends, in order to get a second opinion.
“Virtual try-on is a game-changer and solves what has historically been one of the most difficult things to replicate online: understanding fit and how an item will actually look on you,” Denise Incandela, EVP of apparel and private brands for Walmart wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition. “Zeekit will help us deliver an inclusive, immersive and personalized experience for our diverse customer base.”
Incandela added in the blog post that Walmart may leverage Zeekit’s technology for other uses in the future, including the ability to build the world’s largest virtual closet and “mix and match clothing seamlessly.” Three members of Zeekit’s executive team, including the CEO, CTO, and VP of research and development will join Walmart.
Virtual try-on tools have skyrocketed in popularity over the last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic drove more customers to shop online, and retailers attempted to increase virtual consumer engagement and confidence. Retailers such as Whole Foods, Asos, and Brookfield, the shopping mall operator, have debuted online try-on tools, as have brands including L’Oreal, Gucci, and Dior.
The Zeekit acquisition by Walmart is just the latest in a series of partnerships and innovation aimed at increasing digital consumer engagement. In March, the company hosted its second live shopping event on TikTok, as part of an ongoing relationship with the social media site. Walmart also debuted shoppable cooking videos featuring celebrity hosts including Jamie Oliver last fall; those videos have produced a higher-than-average click-through rate of 8.7%. The company’s ongoing focus on digital innovation and a more streamlined omnichannel customer experience resulted in a whopping 229% increase in digital sales for Q1 of this year.