Retail giant Walmart (WMT) made its first foray into the metaverse this week, launching two different experiences through online gaming platform Roblox (RBLX). This follows up on Walmart’s decision to file metaverse-related trademarks earlier this year, all of which indicate plans to sell virtual goods as well as non-fungible tokens or NFTs.
The two experiences are being called Walmart’s Universe of Play and Walmart Land. One of its offerings is “verch,” which is a store that contains virtual merchandise. It helps match customers with product offerings available both online and in stores. The virtual Walmart world also includes a blimp that drops toys, various mini games, and a music festival featuring hot artists.
Digital Testing Ground
For Walmart, Roblox allows them to explore the metaverse’s potential upside while planning out any future moves.
It expands on Walmart’s willingness to experiment with different online events. To date, the big-box retailer has hosted several shoppable live streaming events on platforms such as YouTube (GOOGL), Twitter (TWTR), and TikTok. Walmart also previously introduced an augmented reality tool on Pinterest (PINS) in which shoppers can see how decor and furniture options would look inside their home or apartment.
How It Works
Many metaverse proponents are excited about its potential for ecommerce and the ability to sell goods within the digital landscape, but Walmart says it won’t make money off these two initial experiences. That said, tokens and other rewards earned in the retailer’s space can be used to buy virtual merchandise on Roblox.
Looking ahead, it’s possible Walmart focuses on generating metaverse revenue by charging brands a placement fee for being included. That sort of exposure seems to be the focus for now. Walmart is including popular toys and items within some of its games, likely in the hopes kids will ask mom and dad to buy them – in the real world, with cold hard cash.
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