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Walmart enters Metaverse: Could this revolutionize retail?

Walmart NFT
Walmart NFT

Walmart is said to be venturing into the metaverse.

Mark Zukerberg, in October, changed the name of Facebook to Meta. A big transition from being a social-media giant to a big mover in the metaverse.

Many companies, since then, are hustling to position themselves in the metaverse & become part of the revolution. In a recent report, it’s come to attention that Walmart is set to enter the metaverse.

The retail giant has filed about 7 trademarks with the US Patents Office. The company has plans to sell virtual goods, such as electronics, home decorations, children’s toys and games, sporting goods, personal care products, physical fitness training services and health and nutrition classes in augmented and virtual reality.

In a statement, Walmart said, “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences.” From the filings made on 30th December, Walmart plans to do this with the aid of digital assets and virtual experiences.

The filings include mentioning the Walmart token, a Walmart-owned virtual currency. Adding to that, cryptocurrency exchange services will be integrated using blockchain technology. Another application suggests a downloadable software to be used for e-commerce, augmented reality and management of cryptocurrency portfolios.

Walmart entering NFT space!

An online retail space allowing shopping in the metaverse also has a mention. The goods won’t be limited to offline items but will include digital goods that’ll be authenticated with NFTs. The trademark application lists a few goods namely home appliances, sporting goods, beauty products, patio furniture, and musical instruments.

In this tweet, you can see for yourself what Walmart could look like after the integration of Augmented Reality. “We are testing new ideas all the time. Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from,” as per the company statement.

This ability to shop in 3D, in a “socially interactive online 3D virtual environment” will open people up to a unique experience. And, to be socially interactive in this space, Walmart will supposedly provide avatars users need in the form of skins & dresses.

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Walmart is also planning to offer its platform as a service. Just like in its retail stores Walmart allows other brands to position their products, In the metaverse, Walmart will empower brands in launching crypto-collectibles, crypto-art and application tokens. Walmart as a result could very well be an ecosystem and not just a single entity.

Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney recently made a statement saying “There’s a lot of language in these, which shows that there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to address cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that appears to be coming or that’s already here.”

Walmart shares a special interest in providing healthcare in VR as well. The “effective interaction between two agents” advantage of metaverse, in general, serves the purpose just right. Hopefully igniting a flame that transforms the healthcare sector for the better.

Owing to all the hype, many thought of Walmart as the first retail player in the Metaverse space. That’s not true. Many companies that cater to retail customers have their hands deep in the Metaverse and its derivatives.

Adidas to begin with has taken multiple steps to position itself as a strong player. Recently, Adidas launched its NFT collection that had nearly 30,000 NFTs & managed to earn $23 million in the very first launch. The NFTs were launched in collaboration with Yuga Labs, the company that created Bored Apes, and were called Into the Metaverse. Additionally, it purchased digital real estate on Sandbox VR, a platform that enables interactive digital interaction.

In early November, Nike filed a bunch of trademark applications pertaining to the sale of virtual branded sneakers. It also plans to create a virtual world called Nikeland in partnership with Roblox. Following that it acquired a digital sneaker company RTFKT, where an 18-year-old artist sold roughly $3 million of virtual sneakers in under 10 minutes.

GAP, an apparel brand, has started selling NFTs that range from $8 to $415. These NFTs come with physical perks, such as a hoodie in this case. Gucci and Louis Vuitton entered Metaverse as of last month as well.

Takeaway

In August, Walmart posted a job listing for a cryptocurrency product specialist. From then till now, “Walmart in Metaverse” has been a persistent word of mouth. On occasions, it reached peak hype on Twitter. As much as it’s tempting to accept Walmart’s position in the metaverse, it’s crucial to note that these are trademarks and not a promise of service. But these are not for nothing, they do signal some major upcoming services. Hopefully, we see a digital Walmart soon.

If you are wondering where to buy NFTs, don’t forget to check our other articles.

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