Walmart has broadened the shopping experience for its customers in the metaverse as it merges purchases in the physical and virtual worlds.
American multinational retail corporation Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) plans to expand its metaverse strategy by allowing its customers to buy physical versions of items available for virtual home purchases.
Users can now purchase the items for their physical homes as they would for their virtual homes in House Flip, a game where players can renovate and sell virtual houses. In addition, customers can purchase virtual clothing in Zepeto, a mobile world where people create and customize avatars as preferred.
Speaking to VentureBeat, the Vice President and General Manager of Metaverse Commerce at Walmart’s incubation division – Store No. 8 – said Walmart is planning to connect the virtual world with the physical. According to Thomas Kang:
“We’re not trying to replace or isolate the reality with virtual, but rather connect it and make it better for the customer. We want to make sure that what we do is contextual and authentic to the customer. We want to add to the experience and the convenience.”
Kang said Walmart is in the best position to connect the physical and virtual worlds of the average customer, considering that about 90% of all US residents live within 10 miles of a Walmart store. According to Kang, Walmart will later allow customers to buy physical items in House Flip, completing the purchase in the metaverse. This means that using one account, customers would be able to make purchases for a virtual or physical item.
“We have a chance to reshape and reinvent retail in ways that are good for the customers. We can use our physical locations as places to engage customers, for example, if you buy something physical, we may be able to give you something virtually for free.”
Walmart Has Big Plans for the Metaverse
Walmart believes it is in the best position to take advantage of the metaverse environment, especially as a commerce company. He also added that Walmart can very easily help businesses sell their products and services in virtual worlds.
Walmart plans to try out more experiences in the coming months. Kang said the emerging metaverse technology is limitless and assured of Walmart’s excitement at doing more. The company is now firmly in competition with other e-commerce firms, including Alibaba and Amazon. Both giants have also made progress with using metaverse technology like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to improve their shopping customers’ experiences.
Last year, Walmart launched new experiences for kids on the metaverse platform Roblox. The retail corporation launched Walmart’s Universe of Play and Walmart Land to entertain kids with interactive content. Walmart Land is a platform that offers immersive experiences dedicated to beauty, style, fashion, and entertainment. Kids will be able to compete in dance challenges, partake in fashion competitions, play trivia games, and also attend live concerts.
On the other hand, the Universe of Play platform is for gaming and toys. Players can explore different worlds to earn coins for goods and even complete challenges for rewards like unlocking secret codes and building personal trophy cases.