Walmart is looking to virtual reality games as the “future of retail”

Virtual reality - Person Shopping wearing VR headset

The company dragged its heels getting into e-commerce but intends to be a leader in VR shopping.

Walmart is moving forward with virtual reality gaming environments in what it views as the “future of retail”.

The retail giant shared several details regarding a number of strategies it is planning using VR.

Among the details Walmart has shared includes the intention to introduce commerce capabilities into its House Flip mobile game. It has also made a commitment to virtual reality, saying that “over the next year, you’ll see us test a variety of experiences in virtual worlds that connect to commerce at stores and vice versa.”

Virtual reality - Walmart phone app
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“At Walmart, we see the growth and expansion of increasingly immersive virtual worlds as not only a chance to develop new ways to meet and engage with our customers, but also an opportunity to experiment with a new type of commerce, where customers can not only continue buying virtual goods, like clothing for their avatar, but now their real-world counterpart,” wrote Walmart’s innovation arm Store No. 8’s vice president and general manager of metaverse commerce Thomas Kang. “Given that almost 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart store, we also have an opportunity to connect their physical and virtual lives in a way that only Walmart can.”

Virtual reality games and worlds are currently the fastest growing entertainment category.

Kang pointed directly to this rapid growth rate, projecting that there would be 3 billion participants in VR worlds and games by the close of this year.

Among the experiments Walmart is currently running in VR include:

  • Using the House Flip mobile game to let players renovate and sell virtual homes using products sold by the retailer. Moreover, the game lets consumers virtually test Glidden paint colors, which Walmart sells. Later in October, consumers will also be able to purchase real items from within the digital environment.
  • Virtual reality metaverse environment inclusion of the Scoop brand that is exclusive to the retailer. Consumers can purchase the designs for their VR avatars.
  • Another Roblox experience launch in the form of a Supercampus experience that launched in late August. It was geared toward kids who were heading back to school and involved brand-focused challenges with Crayola, 3M, BIC and others.

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