Walmart will soon join the ranks of Facebook, Disney, Nike, and a slew of other companies as its plans to join the metaverse have been revealed in a recent listing.
In late December, the retailer, the largest private employer in the U.S., secretly filed numerous trademark applications that detailed elaborate plans to offer virtual products. The applications were first reported on by CNBC.
According to CNBC, Walmart filed for several trademarks on Dec. 30, indicating plans to begin selling virtual products such as electronics, toys, appliances, recreational equipment, apparel, home decor, and more. There is talk of providing clients with a digital currency as well as the ability to buy and sell NFTs.
Meanwhile, another application outlines possible "physical fitness training services" and "health and nutrition classes" in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) environments. The company also filed a separate application for the use of its name and logo in VR and AR.
As Bloomberg points out, Walmart has also filed trademark applications for the names "Verse to Home," "Verse to Curb," and "Verse to Store," all of which hint at a virtual shopping experience.
This information is available for public review at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), with some of them included under the name "Walmart Connect," a digital advertising initiative run by the retail giant. The filings can be found by searching the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) for "Walmart" or "Walmart Connect."
"Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences," Walmart spokesperson Carrie McKnight told The Verge. "We don't have anything further to share today, but it's worth noting we routinely file trademark applications as part of the innovation process."
Despite many companies' plans for the metaverse, business executives are still unsure about how to build a fully functional metaverse. According to Morgan Stanley analysts, the metaverse may be an $8 trillion opportunity, but persuading people to believe in it would be difficult.
However, a Digital Commerce 360 analysis predicts Walmart's online sales thrived in 2021, with revenues reaching $11.1 billion in the third quarter, which might be advantageous for Walmart's metaverse objectives.
Walmart posted a job posting for a cryptocurrency product specialist in August, indicating the company's expanding interest in the metaverse.Other retailers are also getting in on the metaverse action, with Nike aiming to capitalize on NFTs and virtual footwear, Adidas selling out of its Into the Metaverse NFT line, and Gap offering NFTs of its hoodies.