September 28, 2022
Walmart has moved to the Metaverse. The retail giant launched two immersive experiences on the Roblox gaming platform on Monday.
Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play are the retailer’s first attempts to connect visitors with virtual goods (AKA verch) that match real-life matches on walmart.com and in the chain’s stores.
“We’re going big – creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play,” said William White, chief marketing officer, Walmart US, in a statement expression. “Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers spend a lot of time there. So we’re focused on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we’re already doing in the communities they live in and now in the virtual worlds they play in.”
Walmart Land’s debut features three experiences to connect with Roblox enthusiasts – Electric Island, House of Style, and Electric Fest.
The retailer said Electric Island was “inspired by the biggest music festivals in the world” and will offer a dance challenge and Netflix trivia experience starring Noah Schnapp from Stranger Things.
House of Style features a virtual dressing room, beauty bar and roller skating rink.
Electric Fest will debut next month and will allow user avatars to hop back to Electric Island to take part in motion capture concerts featuring recording artists like Madison Beer, Kane Brown and YUNGBLUD.
Walmart’s Universe of Play will bring popular toys from its stores to different worlds where users can earn coins to purchase virtual goods or complete challenges to unlock secret codes. A Walmart airship drops toys throughout the user’s time in the Universe of Play.
The experience includes five new immersive games including products from LOL Surprise!, Jurassic World, Paw Patrol, Magic Mixies and Razor Scooters. Virtual adventures will be part of the experience, with avatars using items like hoverboards to move around the universe faster.
Mr. White tells CNBC that the retailer is leveraging the Roblox partnership to create a meaningful connection with consumers under the age of 25.
“How do we foster relevance in cultural conversation? How do we develop community and engagement? How do we move the needle from a brand favor? [standpoint] with younger audiences?” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to achieve here.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Walmart going the right way with its first foray into the Metaverse? Will this help achieve the intended relevancy among younger consumers?
“Is Walmart taking the right approach with its first foray into the Metaverse?”