Walmart is taking its first step into the metaverse with two experiences, Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play, debuting on online gaming platform, Roblox.
The retail giant has created virtual spaces that offer interactive content and exclusive entertainment to its customers. This is a new way that Walmart has found to reach its shoppers, connecting especially with its younger audience.
Walmart Land delivers beauty, fashion and style content directly to the global Roblox community, with over 52 million daily users, and 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 venture into a DJ booth. It also has a Netflix trivia experience with Noah Schnapp from “Stranger Things”.
House of Style, which features a virtual dressing room and a cosmetics bar, allows users to participate in motion capture 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 a virtual world, including: Immersive Games that offer experiences with products and characters from famous games; Desired Rewards, where users will be able to collect rewards according to their online performance; and Virtual Adventures, where users can travel through the Walmart universe faster with their avatars.
“We’re showing up in a big way – creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and the Walmart Universe of Play, and we know our customers spend a lot of time there. So, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we are already doing in the communities where they live, and now, in the virtual worlds where they play,” said William White, Director of Marketing at Walmart US with recent news about the company’s new bet.
Other companies are also turning to the metaverse for prominence
Walmart has taken a very important step towards turning the metaverse into an increasingly popular channel of commerce. In a research released by Accenture, it showed that consumers’ interest in shopping in the metaverse may be greater than you think.
According to Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Retail at Accenture group: “The era of the metaverse has begun, and for consumer-facing companies, it’s not about deciding whether to enter the metaverse, but deciding how”.
As a result, brands will need to reimagine and experience what these new interactive experiences can mean for consumers. As is the case with other famous brands that have already launched their experiences or virtual showcases on Roblox, such as Chipotle, American Eagle, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Pacsun.
As is the case with other famous brands and artists who have come out ahead and have 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 lovers and Gen Z, but it’s still a long way to go towards general acceptance.
We saw, for example, Meta’s (a.k.a. Facebook company) owner Mark Zuckerberg lost more than a half of his personal wealth this month—and part of that because the company is investing a lot in the metaverse, and people are still not quite buying it.
A former Google CEO said recently that we still don’t know what metaverse is—and searches prove it: 60% of respondents in an Axios survey are not familiar with the idea of metaverse.
But we sure can’t ignore a trend here: whether in the metaverse or not, consumers (especially the young ones) are seeking for more interaction, interactivity, and gamification.
It’s not a coincidence that brands like Netflix and Spotify are betting on games. Apple launched its iPhone 14 on an interactive landing page. That several brands are testing strategies on Twitch.
And sure, with this initiative Walmart opens 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 to these new experiments. I believe that bringing interaction and gamification (in the metaverse or whatever you want to test) into your strategies can be a good bet to attract a new audience in a relevant and interactive way.
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