Walmart enters the metaverse to target young shoppers on Roblox

27 Sep 2022

Walmart Land. Image: Walmart

The company is launching interactive content, games and competitions on Roblox, bringing its shopping ‘isles’ to life digitally.

Retail giant Walmart is heading to the metaverse, launching two experiences on the gaming platform Roblox.

With interactive content and games, Walmart said its offerings are designed to bring its shopping ‘isles’ to life in the virtual world. Roblox is estimated to have around 52m daily users and is popular among younger players.

The first experience, Walmart Land, features live music, fashion competitions, Netflix trivia games and “verch”, which is Walmart’s merchandise in the virtual world.

Walmart described its second location called Universe of Play as the “ultimate toy destination”, with games that offer tokens for players to earn virtual goods.

Walmart US chief marketing officer William White said the company is showing up on the gaming platform “in a big way”.

“Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there,” White said.

“So, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we’re already doing in the communities where they live, and now, the virtual worlds where they play.”

This marks Walmart’s first entry into the metaverse as it seeks new ways to engage with its shoppers. The retail giant made plans at the end of 2021 to join the digital world by filing several trademarks, CNBC reported.

These trademarks indicated Walmart’s intent to make and sell virtual goods, and suggested the retailer may also planning to create its own cryptocurrency or NFTs in the future.

White told CNBC that Roblox will serve as a testing ground for the company as it considers further moves in the metaverse. He added that the experiences have been designed with a younger generation of shoppers in mind.

Walmart also made a venture into another potential e-commerce frontier earlier this year, when it partnered with streaming player Roku. The retail giant began a pilot programme to let people buy products directly from adverts they see on their TV.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic