Walmart’s Virtual Fitting Room Lets You ‘Be Your Own Model’ To Save Time and Money

Jan 9, 2020 Mountain View / CA/ USA - People shopping at a Walmart store in south San Francisco bay area.
Sundry Photography / Getty Images

Add Walmart to the list of major retailers who are going high-tech with the virtual fitting room experience. In a Sept. 15 blog post on its website, the icon big-box chain unveiled “Be Your Own Model,” a new technology that lets online shoppers see themselves in apparel they are interested in buying.

With “Be Your Own Model,” customers can use personal photos to better visualize how clothing will look on them. The technology is designed to create “a gamification of shopping” that Walmart believes will be “very compelling” to customers, Denise Incandela, Executive Vice President of Apparel and Private Brands at Walmart U.S., wrote in the blog.

Walmart made a big move into virtual fitting rooms last year with the acquisition and implementation of Zeekit, a virtual try-on platform. Earlier in 2022, the retailer introduced “Choose My Model,” which allowed online customers to see how certain apparel items look on models with similar body types.

“Be My Own Model” takes it a step further by letting you see yourself in apparel items — but as Business Insider reported, it requires you to strip down to your underwear or tight-fitting clothing.

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The technology uses algorithms and machine learning models to show how an item of clothing will look on customers. This differentiates it from other experiences that typically lay a photo of an item on top of another image.

“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,” Incandela wrote. “For example, a single shirt can come in six different colors, seven different sizes and two sleeve lengths. Our technology captures all the variations and shows how they look uniquely on each individual.”

The feature is available on more than 270,000 items across different private brands, including Free Assembly, Scoop, Sofia Vergara, Love & Sports, ELOQUII Elements, Time & Tru, Athletic Works, Terra & Sky, No Boundaries, Avia and The Pioneer Woman. Select items from national brands such as Champion, Levi’s and Hanes are also included.

The technology is designed to help customers save time and money by letting them try on clothes at home instead of having to gas up and drive to the store. If an item is enabled for virtual try-on, you’ll see the “Try It On” button on the item page. You then have the option of viewing clothing on yourself (Be Your Own Model) or another model (Choose My Model).

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To use the “Be Your Own Model” feature, you’ll be prompted to take a picture of yourself within the Walmart iOS app. Once an image is saved, you will be able to view yourself as the model each time you use the virtual try-on experience.

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iOS users will soon also be able to take their images in the Walmart app to use the feature on desktops or the web. It will be available on Android devices in the coming weeks.

As Business Insider noted, Walmart is one of a number of retailers to jump on the virtual fitting-room trend. In August, Amazon launched an augmented reality service that lets customers try on shoes virtually. Other retailers, including Macy’s and Adidas, have also worked with Zeekit to test out virtual try-on options.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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