Walmart has teamed up with Unity, a leader in creating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, to integrate Walmart’s commerce APIs into Unity-developed games and applications. By providing the capability for creators to market physical products in RT3D experiences across more than 20 platforms, the partnership aims to bridge the gap between virtual and physical lifestyles for customers. Furthermore, it introduces fresh monetization avenues in games and experiences built with Unity.
Empowering Developers and Enhancing User Engagement
The partnership taps into Unity’s significant user base, with over 1.1 million developers using the Unity editor monthly. These developers contribute to an average of 3.6 billion downloads of ‘Made with Unity’ applications each month, highlighting the extensive reach and impact of this collaboration. Walmart aims to bring its retail capabilities into the virtual space, presenting new commerce opportunities within these digital platforms.
Tom Kang, Vice President and General Manager of Metaverse Commerce at Walmart’s Store No. 8, articulated the potential of this collaboration. “We have an opportunity to connect the physical and digital realms in a way that only Walmart can, meeting our customers and members with authentic experiences where they already are,” he said. This initiative allows developers to create more engaging user experiences by enabling in-game transactions for physical products, thereby maintaining the immersive nature of digital environments.
President of Create at Unity, Marc Whitten, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the partnership’s potential to foster commercial innovation in games and virtual experiences. “We’re excited to be able to give Unity developers the option of another new revenue stream while keeping players within their games and experiences.”
Walmart’s Venture into Immersive Commerce
Walmart’s recent explorations in immersive commerce have included collaborations on three Unity-based experiences: ‘House Flip’ by fun-gi, ‘Avakin Life’ by Lockwood Publishing, and ZEPETO by Naver Z. These integrations allow users to purchase real-life counterparts of in-game items, merging virtual activities with physical shopping.
For example, with ‘House Flip’, users of this mobile game, designed for renovating, decorating, and selling virtual properties, have the option to buy actual versions of the items they utilize in the game.
The introduction of Walmart’s Unity Software-Development Kit (SDK) aims to enable creators further to integrate Walmart’s Commerce APIs into their projects. This approach seeks to enhance gaming experiences by allowing in-game purchases of physical goods, extending player engagement and introducing affiliate commissions as a new monetization method.