Flipkart has launched a metaverse offering for users to discover and shop for new products, the latest bet from the Indian e-commerce giant as it experiments with web3 offerings to improve its customer experience.

The Walmart-backed Bengaluru-headquartered firm has partnered with eDAO, a firm incubated by Polygon, to launch the metaverse offering it calls Flipverse. The offer is in the pilot stage and aims to attract interest during the holiday season this month.

On Flipverse, which went live on Flipkart’s Android app on Monday, the company is offering “gamy, interactive and immersive” experiences for users where they will be able to collect the company’s loyalty points – Supercoins – as well as digital collectibles from partner brands while they shop.

In a briefing on Monday, Flipkart said a “wide range of brands” including Puma, Noise, Nivea, Lavie, Tokyo Talkies, Campus, VIP, Ajmal Perfumes and Himalaya are partnering to create experiential theaters on Flipverse.

“The idea is for millions of users to experience Flipverse and open the doors to the future of shopping,” the company said. Company executives acknowledged that its web3 offering is at an experimental stage, but said they are confident it has the legs to eventually become a critical part of Flipkart’s future.

Flipkart and its main rival in India, Amazon, are increasingly expanding their offerings to reach new customers in the South Asian market and retain a loyal base. Amazon launched QVC-style live shopping late last month in India, bringing in an army of more than 150 creators to host live shows and feature products in the videos.

“Although we’ve 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 will revolutionize online retail as we know it. Flipverse will be a living, visible expression of the metaverse, and I’m proud that this activation is happening at Polygon,” Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon, said in a statement.

The broader partnership with Flipkart is Polygon’s latest win to attract big brands. The Ethereum scaling platform has partnered with a number of firms including Stripe, Meta and Starbucks in recent months.

Flipverse is not Flipkart’s first foray into web3. The company partnered with Carl Pei’s Nothing earlier this year to give exclusive NFTs to those who buy the smartphone from the platform.

“The future growth of e-commerce will be influenced by today’s compelling technologies and Metaverse is one of the significant revolutions in this arena with huge potential,” Naren Ravula, vice president and head of product strategy and implementation at Flipkart Labs, said in a statement.

“The launch of Flipverse will continue to impact innovative industries such as e-commerce and enhance the customer experience while providing a gamified and engaging shopping experience, especially in light of the adoption of metaverse and web3 platforms by multiple brands in India.” By giving customers access to their favorite brands, offers, supercoins and digital collectibles, we aim to enhance their shopping experience in a virtual and immersive environment.”

(more to come)

Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart launches metaverse shopping experience

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