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Walmart makes Roblox history with ‘real-world’ sales

Walmart Discovered
Users can now buy physical goods on Walmart Discovered in Roblox.

Walmart is stepping up its metaverse commerce efforts with a groundbreaking initiative on the popular Roblox immersive gaming platform.

The discount giant, which initially debuted in the metaverse by launching two new metaverse experiences on Roblox in September 2022 and announced in September 2023 that it would deepen its commercial activity in “virtual worlds,”  is now the first entity to sell select "real-world" items on Roblox.

According to a brief listing for the "Walmart Discovered" experience on Roblox, Walmart’s IRL commerce shop in the experience enables Roblox users to check out the real world items chosen by its partner user generated content (UGC) creators, MD17, Junozy & Sarabxlla.

Each purchase of a select real world item comes with a free digital twin that customers can use with their Walmart Discovered avatar, created by its partner UGC creators. Users can try on and buy trending content and emotes in Discovered, tell Walmart what products they want to see featured, customize their virtual Walmart cart, and also showcase their favorite items.

This omnichannel shopping experience is currently only available in the U.S.

"There is a traditional sort of checkout flow where you put your name, your address and your credit card information, and that’s all powered by a Walmart API that handles all of the information super securely — it’s very safe," Walmart director of brand experiences and strategic partnerships Justin Breton said in a quote published by Digiday. "And once you hit checkout, you’ll get your confirmation email from Walmart. All of that is handled by us on the back end, the user will then get their item in the mail, but the virtual twin is granted immediately back on Roblox."

According to Digiday, this new Walmart experience is a pilot that will last through May 2024. The e-tailer will receive all revenues generated by the pilot, which will help Roblox assess the viability of selling physical items on its platform.

Over the past year, Walmart has tested immersive commerce in a variety of online worlds, including the Supercampus gamified Roblox environment. 

In January 2024, Walmart began providing developers in the Unity real-time 3D development environment the ability to integrate its commerce application programming interfaces (APIs) directly into their games and apps. This will enable Unity creators to sell physical items in real-time 3D experiences across more than 20 metaverse platforms.

Headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart Inc. operates approximately 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 19 countries.

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