Walmart is pushing further into the virtual world, rolling out expanded online healthcare benefits for associates nationwide, while also implementing AR-powered make-up try-on features in its app.
Taking Healthcare Online
This week, Walmart announced plans to enhance the online primary care benefits offered through its employee health insurance plan, extending the services to its workforce in 28 U.S. states. With over 2 million employees, Walmart stands as the largest private employer in the United States, according to regulatory filings. In collaboration with virtual healthcare services provider Included Health, the retailer aims to broaden its existing online primary care services, which are currently available in 21 states.
Walmart employees will have access to virtual care options, such as digestive health consultations, physical therapy sessions, and select diagnostic tests, beginning early next year. The majority of the online health services included in the program would be provided without any extra charges, the company says.
The retail giant shared in a blog post that during a pilot run of its virtual primary care service, there was an 11% decrease in the overall healthcare costs for its employees and their families.
“We’re meeting people where they are and removing barriers of time, travel and cost at the same time. At the end of the day, we’re offering affordable, accessible health care for our associates and their families, which ties back to our mission at Walmart: helping people save money so they can live better,” said Lisa Woods, Walmart’s VP of Wellbeing, in a statement.
The World of Virtual Beauty
Walmart has tapped fashion technology company Perfect Corp to spearhead the new virtual try-on initiative.
The app feature allows shoppers to experiment with various makeup shades, including blush, lip color, eye shadow, and bronzer. Using advanced AI and AR technologies, this try-on tool provides a hyper-realistic view designed to make users feel like they’re actually wearing the makeup.
Users will have access to virtually try on more than 1,400 products from Walmart’s brand assortment including Almay, Black Radiance, CoverGirl, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Maybelline, NYX Professional Makeup, Revlon, Rimmel, Neutrogena, wet n wild, andThe Lip Bar.
“As a destination for beauty, we’re committed to identifying new and emerging opportunities to inspire our customers and create more personalized, seamless, customer-centric shopping experiences. That’s why I’m so excited that Walmart is launching Beauty Virtual Try-On, to offer customers a more engaging and convenient try-on experience on the Walmart app,” said Creighton Kiper, vice president of beauty at Walmart U.S.
The retailer has been making strides into virtual try-on technology for some time. In early 2022, Walmart acquired the virtual fitting room platform, Zeekit and commenced implementing its Choose My Model experience across its Walmart app and Walmart.com. Following this, the retailer built out virtual try-on capabilities by zoning in on personalization with the Be Your Own Model feature.
The virtual try-on feature doesn’t store consumer data but does offer increased personalization. These technologies also promote sustainability efforts to an extent, eliminating the need for physical product samples and minimizing product waste, the company says.