Walmart launches immersive digital shopping experience

2024/05/29 Innoverview Read

Dive Brief:

  • Joining other retailers in the virtual store trend, Walmart last week debuted its immersive shopping platform, dubbed Walmart Realm, according to a Wednesday LinkedIn post by Chief Marketing Officer William White. The immersive shopping experience lets consumers browse virtual environments and purchase products within them. 

  • The virtual store features three digital environments curated by online creators Mai Phammy, Nava Rose, Makenzie and Malia. The three sections, called Y’allternative, Go Chromatic and So Jelly, are Western, metallic and sea-themed environments where shoppers can buy home, fashion and beauty products. 

  • Walmart Realm also includes gamification elements where users can interact with products and have access to giveaways. The retailer partnered with Emperia to develop the digital store.

Dive Insight:

Walmart is diving deeper into immersive experiences. Walmart Realm features influencer-led, virtual shops that are meant to shorten the distance between inspiration and shopping. 

“At Walmart, we’re embracing innovation with e-commerce experiences designed with the virtual world at the heart,” White said regarding the Walmart Realm debut. “This latest innovation is reshaping the retail landscape, and we’re thrilled to bring it to our customers.”

Last summer, the retailer introduced its Supercampus game within Roblox just in time for the back-to-school shopping season. Within the game, players could solve puzzles and play using 3M, Crayola and Bic products. 

Over the past year or so, the immersive store trend has gained steam. Alongside Walmart, Emperia has helped other brands and retailers develop their virtual stores, including LacosteBloomingdale’s and Tommy Hilfiger

Similarly, the experiential e-commerce company Obsess has been growing its list of retail partners seeking to create virtual stores, which now includes Elizabeth ArdenJ. Crew and Alo Yoga. Following the launch of its virtual store last year, Alo Yoga teamed up with Obsess again to develop its immersive shopping experience on the Apple Vision Pro, called the Alo Sanctuary. 

Additionally, after developing the tool for two years, Obsess released Ava by Obsess, which helps brands develop their own virtual stores and customizable 3D experiences. Brands and retailers, such as Ralph Lauren and Charlotte Tilbury, have created virtual stores using the tool.

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