An image from Walmart's "virtual shopping tour."
Walmart.com
By Kevin Kelleher
June 28, 2018

Good news, couch potatoes: You can now shop for a new sofa in 3-D splendor without ever having to leave your beloved living room.

Walmart rolled out a virtual showroom that lets customers shop for furniture and other home items for apartments, dorms, and homes. The showroom, which features about 70 items from Walmart’s private labels and national brands, allows shoppers to move among rooms in an apartment, using 3D imagery and 360-degree views to create a more realistic idea of how items will look inside a room.

To select items, shoppers will need only click on desired products on their screen as they navigate through the virtual rooms. Beginning next month, Walmart will also introduce a “buy the room” option for shoppers who want to decorate an entire room at once.

That feature is targeted in part to college students who need to set up an entire dorm room or apartment at the beginning of the school year. Walmart will offer five such room collections, each of which will feature up to 20 items that the company’s data has shown to be in high demand among college students.

“We know that many customers shop for their dorm rooms or apartments in the summer months, and we also know that many of them tend to buy certain items together,” Anthony Soohoo, a Walmart senior vice president said in a blog post. “For the first time, we’re making it possible to add a group of items to cart to buy a complete look.”

Since buying Jet.com in 2016, Walmart has been investing billions of dollars into its e-commerce operations, including further acquisitions of companies like Bonobos. In February, Walmart’s Store No. 8 incubator bought Spatialand, a virtual reality startup. That month, the company also introduced Allswell, an online retailer of bedding and mattresses.

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