By Bobby Carlton
The Indian e-commerce company Flipkart has launched a new metaverse offering that will allow their consumers to shop and discover new products through a virtual experience. This is the company's latest bet on web3 offerings to improve its customer engagement.
The company, which is backed by Walmart, has partnered with eDAO, a Polygon-backed startup, to launch their digital twin platform that they are calling Flipverse. The platform is currently in its pilot phase and is aimed at capturing the interest of consumers, especially now during their festive season when many hit the stores to shop for the perfect gift.
The app, which will be available on Android on Monday, will allow consumers to interact with the company's various offerings through interactive and immersive experiences. It will also allow them to collect their loyalty points and digital collectible items.
During a briefing on Monday, the company said that it has partnered with a wide range of brands to create immersive experiences on Flipverse. Some of these include Puma, Noise, Tokyo Talkies, Lavie, Campus, VIP, Ajmal Perfumes, and Himalaya.
“The idea is to have millions of users experience Flipverse and open the doors to the future of shopping,” the company said in an official press release. The company’s executives acknowledged that its web3 offerings are at an experimental stage, but they said they are confident that it has legs to eventually become a critical part of Flipkart’s future.
“Fifteen years ago, we were the first Indian company to launch Web 2.0-based commerce. And I feel today we are the first company to launch web 3.0 commerce,” said a Flipkart executive at a briefing as they announced Flipverse.
Flipkart and its chief rival in India, Amazon, are increasingly broadening their offerings to reach new customers in the South Asian market and retain a loyal base. Amazon launched a QVC-style livestream shopping in India late last month, bringing an army of more than 150 creators to host livestreams and plug products in the videos. Flipverse is how Flipkart sees themselves getting ahead of their competitor.
In an official statement, Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon said “While we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible in the metaverse, we see e-commerce as one of the killer use cases. Combining top brands with Flipkart’s e-commerce expertise in a virtual environment stands to revolutionize online retail as we know it," adding, "Flipverse will be a vibrant, visible expression of the metaverse, and I’m proud that this activation is taking place on Polygon.”
The partnership with India's leading e-commerce company, which is known for its innovation and expertise, is the latest win for Polygon, as it continues to attract large brands. In the past few months, the company has partnered with several other companies such as Starbucks, Stripe and Meta.
According to Naren Ravula, the company's product strategy and development head, the rise of the metaverse is a significant innovation that will have a huge impact on the e-commerce industry. He noted that the platform is already in its early stages of development and is expected to have a significant impact on the way consumers shop.
“The launch of Flipverse will continue to have an impact on innovative industries like e-commerce and enhance the customer experience while delivering a gamified and an immersive shopping experience, especially in light of the adoption of the metaverse and web3 platforms by multiple brands in India. By providing customers with access to their preferred brands, offers, SuperCoins, and digital collectibles, we are aiming to improve their shopping experiences in a virtual and immersive setting.”
When Walmart announced their partnership with Roblox to create two different metaverse experiences for shoppers, both Walmart and Roblox saw a positive bump on the market. This shows that investors are feeling much more confident with the idea of metaverse consumerism and the use of XR technology. Flipverse is an extension of that confidence.
Having India's biggest e-commerce company take the metaverse very seriously and take those steps to embracing XR solutions for consumerism, this will surely find its way into the backend operations with employee training, managing their warehouses, and even through robotics at their order packing facilities.