Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create lines of digital assets. Based on recent announcements and filings with the US Patent Office, retailing giant Walmart is preparing to offer digital products and establish its brand in a new online sales and marketing portal.
It is significant when the nation’s leading brick-and-mortar retailer announces plans to expand virtual and digital retailing. Walmart trademark applications offered detailed descriptions of a wide range of virtual products and branded digital assets.
By entering the digital environment, Walmart will join leaders in the use of metaverse technology. The company will create and sell a type of currency and NFTs. Walmart will locate its digital goods on a blockchain platform. While the developers of cryptocurrency invented blockchain to work with Bitcoin, the technology can hold anything with digital form and give it value by proving existence and ownership.
Blockchain and Digital Currency
Walmart announced plans for a virtual currency, as well as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. The idea of cryptocurrency is not new to marketing. In some ways, the old business models of earned coupons, shopper reward points, and airline miles were types of cryptocurrency. They existed in a digital environment and used electronic records to confirm their existence, ownership, and prevent double spending.
The metaverse is digital concept that will immerse users in a virtual world with connections to the real world through Virtual Reality ( VR) and Augmented Reality ( AR) technology. In the metaverse, consumers will shop for virtual goods and products at virtual stores.
Marketing Is one of the new frontiers for blockchain technology. NFTs are emerging as a popular digital item to create awareness, promote new products, and reward customers. There is no appreciable downside to offering NFTs to customers as gifts or sold items.
Selling in the Metaverse
Companies have begun using metaverse compatible modes of offering and selling products. Luxury clothing lines have advanced their brands as NFTs. Tokenization is a new way to confer ownership of a branded item. The digital products trend offers buyers a chance to own an elite brand item and putting it on the metaverse. For example, they can dress avatars in the top designer brands of clothing and accessories. Metaverse galleries can display NFTs as art or collectibles.
The urgency of moving with the trend may reflect the feeling in many companies of having moved too slowly into e-commerce. The advantages of early adoption showed in the expansion to ecommerce, and firms that moved slowly felt they ever regained lost ground.
Nike and the GAP are examples of the rush to metaverse marketing. The GAP sells NFTs of its iconic logo clothing like sweatshirts and hoodies. Nike has opened a venture to create an online world called Nikeland. To support its metaverse presence, Nike purchased and virtual sneaker company.
Walmart Can Have an Impact
By its size and volume, Walmart can impact markets substantially. The company has scores of millions of shoppers and is a household name in retail. Walmart has a remarkable potential to advance awareness and participation in cryptocurrency and NFTs.