Walmart joins supermarket with Roblox

Walmart is entering the metaverse with two experiences launching on Monday on the online gaming platform Roblox.

The retail giant’s first foray into the virtual world will feature a toy festival, a music festival featuring popular artists, a variety of games and a merchandise store. virtual, or “verch,” matches what customers can find in Walmart’s stores and on its website.

These two experiences are called Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play.

Walmart is experimenting with new ways to reach shoppers, especially after seeing the pandemic shake up shopping habits and boost consumer engagement with social networks, apps and game website.

Big box retailer hosted purchasable live streams on TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. It created the recipes through a partnership with Meredith, the media company that owns Allrecipes, Parents and Better Homes & Gardens. It has also implemented an augmented reality engine on Pinterest allows shoppers to see how furniture or decor will look in their own home.

Walmart’s chief marketing officer William White said Roblox will serve as a testing ground for Walmart as it looks at moves in supermarkets and beyond. He said these experiences are designed for the next generation of shoppers, especially Generation Z, often identified as around 25 years old or younger. White said the company is looking to learn from the partnership.

“How are we fostering relevance in the cultural conversation? How are we developing community and interaction? [standpoint] with a younger audience? “, I said.” That is what we are trying to achieve here. “

Walmart quietly filed for metaverse related trademarks this early year. Some brands show an interest in producing or selling virtual goods and providing users with virtual currency, as well as non-fungible tokens or NFTs.

White declined to share whether or not Walmart will use those trademarks.

For now, he said, Walmart won’t monetize its rich experiences. Players can earn tokens and other rewards for purchasing virtual goods on Roblox. National brands, such as the LOL Surprise! and Skullcandy headsets, were included in the experience based on their popularity among Roblox’s young gaming audience — not on pay, he said.

However, Walmart could monetize it in the future, either by charging a brand to include, or by trying to turn people’s virtual experiences into real-world store visits or online purchases. , White said.

Walmart Land’s October virtual concert, “Electric Fest,” will feature Madison Beer, Kane Brown, and Yungblud.

Walmart is trying to connect the dots between the virtual and real worlds.

Universe of Play features games featuring items from Walmart’s top toy list for the holiday season – like Razor scooters and Paw Patrol and Jurassic World figures – a potential boost to Roblox users request them. Walmart Land features oversized items from the retailer’s Generation Z-focused beauty brands, such as skin care products from Bubble and makeup from Uoma by Sharon C and a changing room virtual clothes with clothes from its exclusive fashion lines, such as Free Assembly.

Roblox has attracted many new users in Covid pandemic and launched on the stock market last year. The gaming platform has grown from 32.6 million daily active users in 2020 to more than 52 million, according to the company. Historically, it appealed to more children and teenagers, but the company says it’s attracting users of a wider age range.

The platform makes most of its money from in-app purchases, but online advertising test and plans to push advertising more widely next year.

Roblox’s market value is around $21.2 billion, but its stock is down nearly 66% this year.

As Roblox’s user base has grown, more retailers and brands have joined. Those include more upscale designers like Ralph Lauren and teen-oriented brands like PacSun. Sneaker brand Vans has a virtual skate park in Roblox.

In a blog post summarizing the yearRoblox calls the success of the brand experience, including top destinations for users 17 and older. Those people include Nikelandwhere people’s avatars can enter a dunk or try on corporate contests, and Gucci Garden, where users can discover a store that sells limited edition virtual items and createable avatars body.

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