The World’s Largest Retailer Is Jumping Into the Metaverse
Today’s trivia: It took 75 years for the telephone to attract 50 million users—the milestone considered mass adoption. The first iPhone needed roughly three years. Pokémon Go, the smartphone video game, needed just 10 days.
Now, granted, there were population differences. But that’s not really the point. The point is this: Every revolutionary technology eventually reaches a moment—a Malcolm Gladwell “tipping point”—when it moves from the fringe to the mainstream.
Now, Walmart is about to take mainstream a fringe concept known as the metaverse.
The metaverse is a new vision for the internet that merges the real life and the virtual world. In this version of the internet, we’ll view it using virtual reality glasses or augmented reality tech, rather than simply staring at it on computer screens and smartphones in two dimensions.
And for wealth-enhancement reasons, you’re not going to want to miss this…
Walmart has filed several patent applications that tell you precisely where retail is headed. There’s a patent application for a Walmart cryptocurrency for use inside a Walmart metaverse that emerges at some point. There’s an application for “online retail store services featuring virtual merchandise” in a long list of categories (including some head-scratchers like beauty and personal care, landscaping supplies, and grilling products. I mean, if Walmart has found a way to grill and eat the perfect steak while inside the virtual world, I’m not sure real life can continue as we know it.)
Back on track, now… This is the tipping point. Walmart, the bedrock of mainstream retail, is going into the metaverse. In doing so, it’s going to drag literally tens of millions of metaverse neophytes into the metaverse as well.
Basically, Walmart is the gateway drug. The killer app. It’s going to be the reason people head into the metaverse. They’ll get a taste of shopping at Walmart in a digital, alternate reality. And they’ll get comfy with that because Walmart will make it exceptionally easy. Afterward, they’ll feel adventurous enough to hang out with friends at a virtual coffee shop in the metaverse and chat like they do now on Facebook.
Soon enough, they’ll be deep inside play-to-earn games…zoinking zombies and power-walking their neighborhood to collect free crypto that they can convert into real dollars. (Games like this already exist and they’re one of the hottest new trends in entertainment.)
Thing is, I’m not being cute or fantastical with any of those scenarios. That’s really what’s coming.
Walmart just speeds up the adoption. And it isn’t alone…
Nike has partnered with online game site Roblox to create Nikeland, a retailing destination. And Nike recently bought a digital sneaker company so that it can sell e-fashion to metaversians who are gonna want to drape some bling on their avatars—the digital representations of themselves they’ll use when inside the metaverse.
Similarly, mainstream retailer Gap has moved into selling its iconic logo sweatshirts as NFTs (non-fungible tokens that are one-off, one-of-a-kind digital assets). Adidas and Under Armour sold out their collections of digital clothing NFTs last year, and those items are already trading at premium prices in the secondary market.
Now word’s out that Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Urban Outfitters have filed trademark applications for virtual versions of their physical stores.
They all realize the now-glaring reality I’ve been writing about over the last year: the metaverse is where retailing will happen in the future.
The 2D online stores we know today are headed for the technological trash heap, to be replaced by 3D stores all inside the metaverse, like a giant digital Mall of America that your avatar can walk through, trying on clothes.
Back in the early 2000s, investors burned by the dot-com collapse scoffed at Amazon, Netflix, and others, dismissing the internet as overhyped.
That was a huge—monumental—mistake. Amazon, Netflix, Nvidia, Facebook, et al. have gone to rack up life-changing gains for so many people who saw early on what was coming.
Something similar is about to happen now.
I’m your early-warning device blaring news of what’s coming in the metaverse, also called Web 3.0.
But don’t listen to me.
Listen to Walmart.
I mean, if the world’s largest retailer is jumping into the metaverse, you can take it to the bank that this is our future.
But I still wanna know about digital grilling…