Walmart, Walgreens Are Among Retailers Piloting In-Store Hair Coloring Through AR

Walmart, Walgreens and other retailers will build out their augmented reality (AR)-based experiences through Garnier’s Virtual Shade Selector technology with MODIFACE, a tool that lets shoppers virtually try out new hair colors. The Shade Selector, which is designed to help shoppers find a hair color match in 60 seconds, will initially roll out at 37 stores in 2019, including:

  • 10 Walmart stores in February;
  • 5 Wakefern supermarkets (which may include Shop Rite, PriceRite and The Fresh Grocer) in March;
  • 12 Meijer locations in March; and
  • 10 Walgreens stores in June.

Shoppers can interact with the in-store technology via shelf screens that record their current hair color and offer a range of recommended shades. Customers who are interested in trying a different shade can scan the barcode with any Garnier product to see what that color would look like. Additionally, Walgreens Beauty Advisors will assist and provide live feedback to shoppers at select stores.

The Shade Selector also features a web site interface that allows shoppers to try on different colors on their smartphone or computer. While this let them try out new looks at home, the new update helps shoppers make a decision while already out shopping.


Beauty retailers have been harnessing the growing ubiquity of AR technology to improve the customer experience both in-store an at-home. Macy’s partnered with Cosmopolitan magazine and Perfect Corp., the creator of the YouCam makeup app, for a virtual try-on feature through an eight-page native content package, while Coty introduced an AR-powered magic mirror at a Paris boutique that lets shoppers pick up products and have them automatically applied to their face in the mirror. Additionally, Ulta Beauty recently acquired GlamST, an AR startup.

However, the benefits of AR haven’t been limited to the beauty category: 21% of consumers are more apt to buy when they can get an AR preview of the product, according to JDA. Furniture and fashion retailers have been particularly active in this area:



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