With Acquisition, Walmart Upgrades Social Shopping Experience
Through Zeekit’s technology, customers will soon be able to virtually try on items from Walmart’s brand assortment.
Walmart announced in a blog on its website that it has acquired Zeekit, a female-founded, Israeli-based company that combines fashion and technology through its virtual fitting room platform to create an enhanced customer and social experience.
“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, Walmart’s executive vice president of apparel and private brands, wrote in the blog. “Zeekit will help us deliver an inclusive, immersive and personalized experience for our diverse customer base.”
Incandela said Walmart has been working the last few years to expand its apparel assortment to include quality, on-trend and accessible fashion to help customers outfit their closets no matter their personal style or budget. “But, in an increasingly online-driven category, customers not only want variety in styles, but also an inspiring and personalized digital experience that makes shopping for apparel easy, fun and social,” she added.
Through Zeekit’s technology, customers will soon be able to virtually try on items from Walmart’s assortment of national brands like Free People, Champion and Levi’s Strauss, as well as a mix of exclusive brands, including private brands like Time and Tru, Terra & Sky, Wonder Nation and George, and elevated brands like ELOQUII Elements, Free Assembly, Scoop and Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara.
“When the experience is live on Walmart.com, customers will simply upload their picture or choose from a series of models that best represent their height, shape and skin tone to instantly see themselves in any item of clothing, mimicking the experience of trying on clothes in a store,” Incandela said. “They can even share their virtual outfits with friends for a second opinion. This brings an inclusive and social experience to digital shopping.”
Walmart said Zeekit’s technology has been trialed by many top brands and retailers in the fashion industry. It uses real-time image processing to map a person’s image into thousands of segments. Clothing is processed in a similar manner and the equivalent points of the two are mapped into one final simulation.
“Given its scalability, we believe Zeekit’s technology can also be used to create other fashion experiences, including the ability to build the world’s largest virtual closet and mix and match clothing seamlessly,” Incandela added. “These exciting technologies add a social element to the digital experience, allowing our customers to bring their unique personalities and preferences to shopping.”
Incandela added that Zeekit’s team and three visionary founders — Yael Vizel, CEO; Alon Kristal, chief technology officer; and Nir Appleboim, vice president of research and development — bring extensive experience and impressive technology capabilities to Walmart.
“We’re confident that with the team’s expertise in bringing real-time image technologies, computer vision and artificial intelligence to the world of fashion, we’ll identify even more ways to innovate for our customers in our continued effort to be the first-choice destination for fashion,” Incandela said.