Walmart Forays into the Metaverse—What Can Startups Learn from It?

Walmart Forays into the Metaverse—What Can Startups Learn from It

From patenting your intellectual property to seizing every opportunity—here’s what startups can learn from the “Walmart metaverse”.

On January 16, 2022, a news outlet reported that Walmart is gearing up to enter the metaverse. The retail store filed for numerous patents, with the goal of selling virtual goods, such as home decor, toys, sporting goods, personal care items and much more. The store also filed trademarks for the names “Verse to Home”, “Verse to Curb” and “Verse to Store”. Walmart spokesperson, Carrie McKnight, expounded, “Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences.” According to reports, the store will also launch its own cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

Many other brands are echoing this sentiment. From luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci, to shoe stores, including Nike and Adidas—nearly all brands are trying to break into the metaverse in its early stages. All things considered, there’s no reason your startup shouldn’t do so, too. 

Lessons for startups wanting to do the same

Here’s our round-up of the top five lessons that we can learn from Walmart’s foray into the ‘verse

1. Start experimenting right away

Currently, the metaverse is in its nascent stages. Thanks to that, there’s scope for you to try out numerous things and see which works best for you. This way, by the time the metaverse is adopted by more people, you will have established your virtual persona. Walmart expounded in a statement, “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.”

2. Patent your intellectual property (IP)

Walmart filed for trademarks and patents in December 2021. In November, Nike, too, filed trademark applications to sell virtual sneakers and apparel. A trademark attorney, Josh Gerben, told CNBC that these filings are “super intense”. He exclaimed, “All of a sudden, everyone is like, ‘This is becoming super real and we need to make sure our IP is protected in the space.’ ” By patenting your technology as a startup, you increase your financial prospects and boost your value. Plus, investors are more likely to invest in a startup that has protected its IP. 

3. The metaverse is for every category

Whether you are a retail company or a food chain—the metaverse offers numerous possibilities for you to expand your business. As a retail store, you can launch a virtual store where people can shop for virtual goods. As a food chain, you can set up a virtual outlet in the metaverse where people can play games and earn rewards that they can use in the physical outlets. 

4.Take every chance you get to generate new revenue from online sales

Metaverse gives your startup the opportunity to attract and engage new customers. You shouldn’t let that go to waste. Though Walmart’s foray into ecommerce didn’t do very well, the metaverse gives the store a chance to redeem itself and enhance its virtual capabilities. For companies, the  metaverse is both—a chance to start afresh and enhance your current offerings.

5. Tokenizing physical products has many benefits

When you sell products using ecommerce sites, you have to pay a royalty to ‌intermediaries, like the site, delivery personnel and more. However, if you tokenize a product, thus converting it into an NFT, you can sell it to people directly without any extra cost. Later, shoppers can show the transaction as proof in the retail outlet and get that item.

The Director of News at news site The Block, Frank Chaparro, believes that entering the metaverse is a “win-win” for any retail company. He said, “Even if it just turns out to be a fad, there’s not a lot of reputation damage in just trying something weird out like giving some customers an NFT in a sweepstake, for instance.”

It is yet to be ascertained whether Walmart will launch its own metaverse or set up shop in another. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the world’s largest company in terms of revenue, according to the Fortune Global 500 list, will navigate the virtual world. 

Header Image by Flickr

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

What Should Employees Do in a Crisis

What Should Employees Do in a Crisis?

At the start of January 2023, a drunk man in an Air India flight’s business class urinated over a 72-year-old woman sitting beside him. The man, Shankar Mishra, was the Vice President of the financial services company Wells Fargo (he was fired following the incident). In itself, the incident is disgusting.

Top 5 AI Companies in the World

Top 5 AI Companies in the World

Technological developments are driven by the human need to make life easier and complete tasks faster and more efficiently. The drastic growth of technology in recent years has paved the way for artificial intelligence (AI) to become an integral part of almost every industry—from education and lifestyle to music and sports. It is everywhere. And by the looks of it, it is here to stay.

3 High Demand Metaverse Jobs in Future That Your Kids Should Look into

3 High Demand Metaverse Jobs in Future That Your Kids Should Look into

It’s no wonder why Jumpstart Media named “metaverse” one of the top emerging trends and technologies to look forward to in 2023. With an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.4% from 2022 to 2030, Grand View Research forecasts that the global metaverse market is set to expand exponentially. From fashion shows, gaming, luxury products, sports and travel to art, many industries are tapping into the metaverse’s potential.

4 Most Anticipated Tech IPOs of 2023

4 Most Anticipated Tech IPOs of 2023

The technology industry has been a driving force in shaping the global economy for decades and the initial public offerings (IPOs) of technology companies are often highly-anticipated events. In 2022, the tech IPO market saw a slowdown compared to the previous year, 2021.

5-Luxury-Items-That-Are-Worth-the-Investment

5 Luxury Items That Are Worth the Investment

The world of luxury items is one of elegance and exclusivity, with their value increasing as time passes. They are unattainable and highly coveted by the masses. Plus, luxury products have a Veblen effect on the market—as their price rises, their demand does, too.

How Do You Know When to Give Up on Your Startup?

How Do You Know When to Give Up on Your Startup?

Starting a new business is never an easy task. You put your heart into it and spend countless hours working on what you believe will make someone happy or solve society’s problems. But sometimes, startups don’t work out as planned—this can be both disheartening and discouraging.