As part of its Diwali sale, Flipkart — the Indian e-commerce company owned by Walmart (majority controlling stake)— is launching a virtual shopping experience called ‘Flipverse’. The ‘metaverse’ style platform, live on the company’s FireDrops section of Flipkart’s Android app starting Monday, October 17, will be available until the end of the week and is built on the Polygon blockchain.
According to Flipcart, users cannot connect their other crypto wallets to this for now, as it looks like Flipkart’s goal for ‘Flipverse’ is to measure user engagement for this new ‘gamified’ experience.
Founded in 2007 by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal, Flipkart has formed strategic partnerships with companies such as GuardianLink known for launching brand-driven, celebrity-centric NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) and eDAO, a Polygon-incubated organization that designs and launches global art. Additionally, Puma, Noise, Nivea, Lavie, Tokyo Talkies, Campus, VIP, Ajmal Perfumes, Himalaya, and Butterfly India will be participating in this edition.
“The future growth of e-commerce will be influenced by the immersive technologies of today, and Metaverse is one of the significant revolutions in this arena with immense potential. 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 immersive shopping experience, especially in light of the adoption of the metaverse and web3 platforms by multiple brands in India,” said Naren Ravula, VP and Head, Product Strategy and Deployment, Flipkart Labs, in a press statement.
‘Flipverse’ as an Experience
‘Flipverse’ will work on any mobile phone irrespective of specifications. The Bangalore-based company stated the virtual 3D experience is being rendered and streamed via the cloud and that accessing this will not cause the device to heat up in any way.
“This is a 3D-enabled virtual environment with super high fidelity. We have worked with partners like eDAO to enable this on the server and then stream it on the app so that you get a very high fidelity irrespective of what quality of mobile phone you have,” Sai Krishna VK, Chief Innovation Architect at Flipkart Labs, said during a press briefing.
According to Flipkart, this pilot experience will let users create their own avatars and interact with select brands which are part of ‘Flipverse’. It is not clear what technology Flipkart is using to power these ‘avatars’. The brands which will set up their own virtual experiences in this virtual world will offer their own rewards, including digital collectables, for users who participate. The idea is to reward users for interaction in this new virtual space. The rewards could also be converted into physical goods depending on the brands.
Flipkart said in a statement the idea behind ‘Flipverse’ is to let users experience shopping in a more 3D style experience, and also gauge the consumer response to this. It is not clear if Flipverse will be made a permanent feature on the app just yet.