There are two new initiatives that Walmart launched on September 26, 2022. Walmart Land and Walmart's Universe of Play are targeted at Roblox's reported 52 million players.
Several "isles" will feature interactive, immersive experiences related to Walmart's fashion, beauty, and entertainment businesses. The Walmart Universe of Play offers a virtual toy paradise for children.
With Walmart Land and Walmart's Universe of Play, we're creating community, content, entertainment, and games. Our customers spend tons of time on Roblox, one of the fastest-growing platforms in the metaverse.
William White, Walmart's marketing chief stated: “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,”
Walmart joins Gucci and Ralph Lauren in leveraging Roblox's massive fan base to advance its corporate marketing strategies. According to the gaming company, it will introduce 3D portals that will provide users with branded experiences such as Gucci's Gucci Town and Chipotle's virtual restaurants.
Roblox was initially conceived as a gaming hub by founders David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004. 2006 marked the company's official launch.
Roblox seems to be becoming the de facto destination for retail-driven metaverses. Clarks, Spotify, and Chipotle have all tried metaverse engagement, a marketing avenue that has been little explored until now. It's possible to earn in-game currency that can be used to purchase digital goods in Gucci's Gucci Town in Roblox.
One of Walmart Land's immersive experiences aimed at engaging the next generation of customers is Electric Island and Electric Fest, a music and entertainment concept, as well as House of Style, a fashion and beauty concept. Additionally, users can purchase virtual merchandise and earn in-game tokens by participating in contests and games.
In contrast, Walmart Play offers five immersive games featuring characters from Jurassic World, Paw Patrol, and Razor Scooters where users can earn coins by collecting virtual toys. Hoverboards will be used by avatars to navigate the virtual worlds.
The retailer will not make money from the metaverse experiences at first. Virtual goods can be purchased with all in-metaverse awards.
For example, in Walmart's Universe of Play world, users can find and play a variety of games featuring some of the best-selling toys this year, such as Jurassic World and Paw Patrol.
The tactic is that kids play these games, get excited about these toys and then ask their parents to buy them at Walmart. A similar strategy can be found in the other Roblox world, which includes a large obstacle course featuring items from Walmart’s Gen-Z-focused products such as beauty and make-up brands. The company's exclusive fashion line, Free Assembly, is also featured in a virtual dressing room.
Walmart's pivot to the metaverse follows live-streamed shopper events on Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok, as the pandemic curtailed in-person shopping. Several patents related to virtual goods, virtual currencies, and NFTs were filed in Dec. 2021 by the company.
No word on whether these filings will play a role in the company's Web3 plans.