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Walmart to sell physical items via virtual game

Walmart Houseflip
Walmart will sell physical goods in the metaverse.

Walmart is expanding its metaverse presence in a big way.

The discounter, which initially debuted in the metaverse by launching two new metaverse experiences on the popular Roblox immersive gaming platform n September 2022, says it is going to deepen its commercial activities in “virtual worlds.”

In a corporate blog post, Thomas KangVP & GM, metaverse commerce, of Walmart’s Store No. 8 tech incubator, cited an estimate from Citi that the total market for metaverse-related commercial activity will be between $8 trillion and $13 trillion by 2030, with total metaverse users numbering around five billion.

During the next year, Walmart plans to test a variety of experiences in virtual worlds that connect virtual environments to brick-and-mortar stores and vice versa. Earlier in 2023, Walmart teamed up with game developer Fun-Gi to develop “House Flip,” a mobile game for iOS and Android devices that allows players to renovate and sell virtual homes.

Walmart launched the game with the ability for players to virtually test certain Glidden paint colors it sells, generating what the retailer says is more than 12 million impressions for the Glidden brand over the first six months.

Starting in September 2023, Walmart will introduce the ability for customers to purchase physical items contextually and natively in the game, using their Walmart accounts without leaving the virtual world.  The company is also adding new décor items from Mainstays and Better Homes and Gardens to the in-game experience that players can browse and purchase.

“At Walmart, we see the growth and expansion of increasingly immersive virtual worlds as not only a chance to develop new ways to meet and engage with our customers, but also an opportunity to experiment with a new type of commerce, where customers can not only continue buying virtual goods, like clothing for their avatar, but now their real-world counterpart,” Kang said in the blog post. “We can’t wait to show you where we’re going next.

Walmart expands metaverse presence

Walmart is also highlighting its back-to-school product assortment with a recently launched metaverse experience, Supercampus. This gamified environment on the Roblox platform offers puzzles and other challenges.

The game is played with back-to-school brands and supplies carried by Walmart. This effort follows Walmart’s first two Roblox initiatives launched in September 2022 (see above). Called Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play, the spaces offer original interactive content and entertainment.

Walmart Land offers fashion, style, beauty and entertainment items directly to Roblox users, while Walmart’s Universe of Play provides a virtual toy destination in Roblox.

In addition, in August 2023 Walmart entered the virtual fashion segment with its private label clothing brand Scoop, taking over the “Runway Z” fashion space. within the mobile virtual world Zepeto.

During the promotion, Runway Z featured Scoop branding, with virtual goods based on Scoop’s designs available for players to buy for their avatars. Within the first month of launch, Walmart says it saw increased user engagement in Runway Z and purchases of virtual Scoop clothing items.

Based in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores and clubs under 46 banners in 24 countries and e-commerce websites.

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