- Walmart is venturing into the metaverse to integrate physical and virtual shopping experiences.
- The company’s initiatives include virtual items in mobile games like House Flip and virtual clothing in Zepeto based on Walmart’s fashion brand, Scoop.
- Thomas Kang from Walmart’s innovation hub emphasizes enhancing and connecting both real and virtual worlds for customers.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is diving deep into the metaverse. The company aims to blend customers’ physical and virtual shopping experiences seamlessly. This innovative approach seeks to enhance the shopping journey, making it more engaging and convenient for consumers.
The metaverse, a collective of virtual worlds, allows users to create avatars, socialize, and partake in various activities. Recognizing its potential, Walmart is keen on exploring commerce opportunities within these virtual realms. The company’s recent initiatives include offering identical items for both physical and virtual homes in the popular mobile game House Flip. Additionally, fans of the mobile virtual world Zepeto can now purchase virtual clothing inspired by Walmart’s fashion brand, Scoop.
Thomas Kang, VP & general manager of metaverse commerce at Store No. 8, Walmart’s innovation hub, shared insights on this venture. He emphasized that the company’s goal isn’t to overshadow reality with the virtual. Instead, it’s about enhancing and connecting both worlds for the customer. Walmart’s strategy revolves around being contextual and authentic, aiming to elevate the overall customer experience.
A significant advantage for Walmart is its widespread physical presence. The company is uniquely positioned, with nearly 90% of the U.S. population residing within 10 miles of a Walmart store. This proximity allows Walmart to offer exclusive deals, such as gifting virtual items upon purchasing physical goods.
In a groundbreaking move, Walmart is set to enable contextual purchases in House Flip. Customers will soon be able to buy physical items without exiting the virtual world. They can conveniently check out using their Walmart account, whether buying virtual, physical, or both goods.
Kang highlighted that this concept is currently unparalleled. He stated, “We are well positioned in that environment because we are a commerce company. We aim to assist brands in selling their products in virtual worlds.”
Forecasts by Citi suggest that by 2030, metaverse-related commercial activities could be worth between $8 trillion and $13 trillion. The potential is vast, with virtual worlds and games poised to dominate the entertainment sector.
Kang envisions metaverse commerce evolving in unexpected ways. As developers craft novel experiences, the possibilities are endless. Walmart’s vision is an inclusive metaverse accessible via any device, ensuring it aligns with its digital values and caters to all customers.
Safety and trust are paramount for Walmart. The company is committed to fostering digital citizenship and ensuring the creation of secure spaces for all users. Over the next year, Walmart plans to roll out more virtual world experiences. Kang enthusiastically stated, “We see limitless potential with this emerging technology.”