September 20, 2023

Walmart Revolutionizes Retail Shopping in Metaverse



Walmart, the world’s largest revenue-generating retailer, has announced that it is experimenting with ways to connect its customers’ physical and virtual shopping experiences in the metaverse.

The metaverse refers to virtual worlds and environments that enable people to create avatars, socialize, explore, and participate in activities. Walmart plans to aggressively pursue opportunities in virtual worlds that connect to commerce at its stores and vice versa.

For instance, customers can now purchase some of the same items for their physical homes that they can buy for their virtual houses in House Flip, a mobile game that lets players renovate and sell virtual homes. Additionally, customers can purchase virtual clothing items based on Walmart’s fashion brand Scoop in Zepeto, a mobile virtual world that lets players create and customize their avatars.

Walmart views the rising popularity and growth of virtual worlds as a chance to create innovative ways to connect with their customers and experiment with a new form of commerce – virtual commerce. This new type of commerce allows customers to purchase virtual and real-world goods, such as clothing for their avatars.

Thomas Kang, the VP & GM of metaverse commerce at Store No. 8, Walmart’s innovation department, stated in an interview with VentureBeat that Walmart’s objective is to facilitate commerce in the metaverse, regardless of where customers choose to access it.

“We’re not trying to replace or isolate the reality with virtual, but rather connect it and make it better for the customer,” Kang said. “We want to ensure that what we do is contextual and authentic to the customer. We want to add to the experience and the convenience.”

Kang stated that Walmart’s ability to connect customers’ physical and virtual lives is due to almost 90% of the US population living within 10 miles of a Walmart store.

Citi predicts that by 2030, the total market for commercial activity related to the metaverse will range from $8 trillion to $13 trillion. Additionally, it’s expected that there will be around five billion users of the metaverse. Virtual worlds and games are projected to be the fastest-growing entertainment category, with an estimated three billion participants from all areas and demographics.

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