Walmart is taking its first step into the metaverse with two experiences, Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play, debuting on the online gaming platform Roblox.
The retail giant has created virtual spaces that offer its customers interactive content and exclusive entertainment. This is a new way that Walmart has found to reach its shoppers and connect especially with the younger audience.
Delivering beauty, fashion and style content directly to the global Roblox community of over 52 million daily users, Walmart Land debuts with three great experiences – Electric Island, House of Style and Electric Fest.
Electric Island was inspired by the biggest music festivals in the world, where users can participate in dance challenges and head to the DJ booth. It also has Netflix trivia with Noah Schnapp from “Stranger Things.”
House of Style, which offers a virtual dressing room and beauty bar, allows users to participate in movement shows with artists such as Madison Beer, Kane Brown and YUNGBLUD.
Meanwhile, Walmart’s Universe of Play will provide a trail of virtual toys on Roblox, bringing the best of Walmart to life in the virtual world, including: Immersive Games that offer experiences with products and characters from popular games; Desired Rewards, where users will be able to collect rewards based on their online performance; and Virtual Adventures, where users can travel faster through the Walmart universe with their avatars.
“We’re showing up big — we’re creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart Universe of Play, and we know our customers spend a lot of time there. So we’re focused on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, which we’re already doing in the communities where they live and now in the virtual worlds where they play,” said William White, chief marketing officer, Walmart USA. with recent news of the company’s new bet.
Other companies are also turning to the metaverse to get ahead
Walmart has taken a very important step in turning the metaverse into an increasingly popular shopping channel. Research published by Accenture shows that consumers’ interest in meta shopping may be greater than you think.
According to Jill Standish, senior director and global head of retail at Accenture, “The era of the metaverse has begun, and for consumer-facing companies it’s not about whether to enter the metaverse, but how.”
As a result, brands will need to rethink and experience what these new interactive experiences can mean for consumers. As with other well-known brands that have already launched experiences or virtual storefronts on Roblox, such as Chipotle, American Eagle, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Pacsun.
As with other famous brands and artists who have come forward and already launched their experiences or virtual showcases on Metaverso, such as Boca Rosa Company and Anitta.
Metaverse: is it worth it?
Even with these global initiatives, the Metaverse is still a somewhat distant reality for most of the population. There may be some early adopters, especially tech buffs and Gen Z, but mainstream adoption still has a long way to go.
For example, we saw Meta (a.k.a. Facebook) owner Mark Zuckerberg lose more than half of his personal wealth this month — and that’s partly because the company is investing a lot in metaversion and people are still not quite buy.
A former Google CEO recently said that we still don’t know what the metaverse is—and the searches bear it out: 60% of respondents to an Axios survey are unfamiliar with the idea of a metaverse.
But we certainly can’t ignore the trend: whether in a meta version or not, consumers (especially young ones) are looking for more interaction, interactivity and gamification.
It’s no coincidence that brands like Netflix and Spotify are betting on games. Apple launched its iPhone 14 on an interactive landing page. That multiple brands are testing strategies on Twitch.
And sure enough, with this initiative, Walmart is opening the door to thousands of other brands that are still afraid to enter this new universe.
As marketers, we must always be open to testing new media and take a test-and-learn approach with these new experiments. I believe that incorporating interaction and gamification (in metaversion or whatever you want to test) into your strategies can be a good bet to attract new audiences in a relevant and interactive way.
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