Walmart Inc, the largest retailer in the US, has quietly filed a slew of new trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for selling virtual goods including electronics.

Apart from its own metaverse, another separate application showed that the company is gearing up to establish its own cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Seven trademark applications were submitted in December 2021, a CNBC report said. In an effort to “continuously explore emerging techs,” Walmart has been testing new ideas on virtual shopping.

“Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from,” the company told the publication.

The company also filed three applications under its digital advertising project, dubbed “Walmart Connect”. “Verse to Store,” “Verse to Curb” and “Verse to Home” were filed for the shopping category, according to Bloomberg.

Walmart has been dipping hands into the crypto space ever since its Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said in December that the company is planning to allow shoppers to pay in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, provided if customers’ demand rises.

In September’21, a hoax news release claimed that Walmart would begin accepting payments in Litecoin, which triggered the cryptocurrency by 30 percent before the retail giant said that the announcement was fake.

More Retailers Join the ‘Meta’ Club

Walmart is very on-trend albeit arriving fashionably late to the metaverse conversation. The company has become the latest to join the retail metaverse run with Nike, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Facebook, and Disney.

Global sportswear giant Nike recently announced, “NikeLand”, its own metaverse on the Roblox gaming platform. Players can utilize accelerometers in their mobile devices to convert offline movement to online play. In December, Nike bought a virtual sneaker company – RTFKT, for an undisclosed sum.

Similar metaverse trademarks were filed in recent weeks by other apparel retailers such as Ralph Lauren, in an effort to open their own version of the virtual shop.

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When it comes to the NFT marathon, retailers such as Gap, Adidas, and Under Armour have already debuted their NFT sales on the OpenSea marketplace.

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Other companies are also looking at the success of Nike’s and Adidas’s NFTs and are rushing to the nearest blockchain.

Is the Future of Retail Virtual?

The way consumers shop at stores is evolving and that is definitely toward a connected showroom environment that includes digital and physical retailing.

Metaverse is an omnichannel atmosphere, where buyers use augmented and virtual reality to digitally engage with their surroundings. This idea also poses the concept of a direct-to-avatar business model, where people can interact digitally using avatars.

For instance, customers can even point their smartphone’s camera toward their feet and see on their screen how the new pair of sneakers might look like, before heading to checkout.

One Twitter user posted a video demonstrating how the future of Walmart metaverse would possibly work.

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All of this means that the retailers would need to create a positive metaverse – presence and convert the existing online experience, in this new virtual world. The metaverse is much of a “to be continued” model as of now so that retailers shouldn’t be struggling to come up with avatar-fitting jackets or virtual shops.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire


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