Home Walmart ‘Realm’ Launches as Next-Generation Virtual Retail Destination
May 28, 2024

Walmart ‘Realm’ Launches as Next-Generation Virtual Retail Destination

By: Mike Duff

Contributing Editor

Walmart has launched a new virtual destination for shopping in a trio of different electronically created 3D landscapes, each of which offers a Home, Beauty and Fashion store. 

This marks a continuation of Walmart’s efforts to develop its virtual interaction initiatives, including its ongoing work with Roblox.

Walmart Realm features shoppable scenes and influencer presentations consumers can access through walmartrealm.com. The home shops at this time are dominated by furniture and furnishings.

In a LinkedIn Post introducing the new virtual initiative, William White, Walmart chief marketing officer, called Walmart Realm the next generation of immersive shopping. White maintained that Walmart Realm “pushes boundaries as a first-of-its-kind digital shopping experience with influencer-led virtual destinations in immersive worlds. It’s fantastical, it’s inspirational and simply put, it’s a lot of fun.”

Walmart embraces innovation with e-commerce experiences designed for the virtual world, White said, asserting Realm is part of a shopping dimension that is reshaping retail.

In response to a HomePage News query, a Walmart spokesperson responded with the statement:

The next revolution in digital retail became a reality as Walmart redefined the path from inspiration to purchase like never before. Just a few weeks after launching a native commerce experience on Roblox, Walmart announced its first immersive commerce experience, Walmart Realm. Walmart Realm is a first-of-its-kind immersive commerce marketplace of influencer-driven virtual shops. The three experiences are centered around social trends and influencers including the underwater world of So Jelly, vintage Americana with Y’allternative and all the shimmering chic with Go Chromatic. This unique, digital-first approach leverages technology from Emperia and gamifies the shopping journey, transporting customers into fantastical realms where they can interact with products and play nostalgic online games in an entirely new way.

Walmart recently updated its Discovered initiative on Roblox. Walmart Discovered rolled out last year as a community in which members could vote to support their favorite games, virtual items and experiences. This update allows consumers to purchase real-world goods through the community and get a virtual version as a bonus.

Emperia, a tech platform that supports immersive virtual experiences for brands across multiple retail sectors, noted on its website that it worked with Walmart and content architect Sawhorse in developing Realm, which takes a singular approach to commerce inspired by social media. Indeed, the Walmart Realm landing page states: “Social trends inspired by Pinterest Predicts.”

The digital content creators involved with Realm curated presentations inspired by such social media dynamics while reflecting the tastes and product preferences of each influencer. For example, Emperia indicated that influencers Makenzie and Malia shaped one of the three destinations in Realm, Y’allternative, a land where the Wild West meets Gothic. Designer, blogger and influencer Nava Rose was central to the development of Go Chromatic, a world of melted metallic images that emphasizes modernity. Vlogger and influencer Mai Phammy was behind the development of So Jelly, an underworld kingdom that invites shoppers to dive into a sea of colorful, bubbly styles, as Emperia described it.

Besides the virtual stores, Realm features such gamification elements as random floating Walmart logs shoppers can click as they discover them to win discounts, allowing for further interaction with products and themes while giving consumers access to rewards and giveaways.

Emperia characterized Ream as a completely new approach to immersive virtual retail, one that invites customers to interact with Walmart and creators in an immersive, social atmosphere, ultimately shortening the distance between inspiration and commerce.

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