Walmart has recently filed a series of trademark applications that have drawn attention from Bitcoin Trading Platform. There have had already been speculations a month ago about the retail giant taking a metaverse leap. It seems Walmart is taking the leap into the metaverse. What are the industry opinions on this development and what are some other companies that are also venturing into this digitalworld?
Almost a month ago, it was revealed that Walmart is planning to venture into the metaverse. It was reported to have plans for creating its own cryptocurrency and a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
It filed multiple new trademarks last month, indicating its plans of making and selling virtual goods. These goods are expected to be:
- Sports goods
- Home decorations
- Personal care products
Recently, the big box retailer made a separate filing and announced that it will be offering both virtual currency and NFTs to its users. Earlier, the company had filed 7 separate applications.
The retailer had announced that it is always exploring the use of emerging technologiesin shaping future shopping experiences.
Industry Expert Opinions
So, what do industry experts have to say about this development taking place at the world’s largest company (by revenue) and largest private employer?
Old Economy Type Company
According to one industry expert, Walmart’s move is a surprising one. It is seen as an old economy type of company. Many, including Morgan Stanley analysts, have pegged the metaverse at several trillions of dollars in a decade’s time. Many years ago, there were similar projections about 3D printing technology. It doesn’t seem to have achieved its full potential. While metaverse has the potential, it is another thing that it may achieve. To many industry experts, Walmart may not seem like a player in the crypto or NFT domain.
However, it was not too long ago that the retailer’s major e-commerce push received a lukewarm response from many. When it acquired Jet, it experienced unprecedented growth.
The Early Mover Advantage
Another school of thought is that even when Walmart is an old economy company, it is capable of integrating crypto and NFT into its business. And given the massive potential of the metaverse, this seems to be the right time to get involved to make it big.
Walmart could be an early mover here and as the metaverse grows, it could turn out to be a big winner.
Another opinion is that metaverse is an evolution of the internet. Users will be able to browse virtual marketplaces in the future and these marketplaces can be powered by companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Etsy.Eventually, all companies will create their presence in the metaverse.
Other Major Brands in the Metaverse
Many companies have been figuring out ways to make a presence in the virtual world. The movement gained even more momentum after Facebook announced updating its name to Meta.
- Nike, for one, signed several trademark applications with the apparent goal of selling virtual branded sneakers and apparel. Recently, it made it public that it is working to create Nikeland, an online world. This was after it acquired RTFKT, a virtual sneaker brand.
- Gap, the famous fashion brand, is offering its iconic logo sweatshirts as NFTs. Its NFTs are priced up to $415.
- Under Armour and Adidas also launched their NFTs last month and they are already sold out. Their NFTs are now getting very high prices on OpenSea, an NFT marketplace.
- Apparel retailers such as Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters, and Abercrombie & Fitch have also been reported to file trademarks recently. It is expected that they will be launching some version of their virtual stores in the near future.
When businesses launch NFTs, it becomes possible for them to ‘tokenize’ their products and services. They benefit from a reduction in online transaction costs. When it comes to luxury brands, NFTs can help authenticate their tangible and expensive products.
Need for Growth of Metaverse
With time, more consumers are likely to become familiar with the metaverse. As people become more familiar with products and services stored on the blockchain, more retailers are expected to develop their own ecosystem based on it. There is a belief that many retailers are still finding themselves being left behind because they didn’t make the early move on e-commerce. Many of them don’t want to be left behind in the metaverse race. And Walmart is a big name in the list of such early movers. Even when it may not seem to make any investment in the near future, Walmartcould make its crypto market entry in its unique way.