Walmart-owned e-commerce marketplace Flipkart on Monday announced the launch of Flipverse - a metaverse space where consumers can discover products in a photorealistic virtual destination.

The homegrown online retailer has partnered with eDAO, a Polygon-incubated organisation that designs and launches global art, media and entertainment IPs into the world of Web3.

Flipverse will offer gamified, interactive and immersive shopping experiences for consumers in a digital world by giving them access to their favorite brands, Supercoins and digital collectibles, Flipkart says in a statement.

Flipverse will be available on Flipkart's newly launched platform, FireDrops, which can be accessed from the e-commerce platform's app.

The objective of the launch is to allow consumers to get closer to brands in a metaverse where the communication runs two ways, the e-commerce giant says.

"Flipverse will enable a multiverse of brands to create unique product launches, discovery and inspiring experiences to attract and engage users. At the same time, it will give brands the ability to generate and create their metaverse-ready digital twin in the virtual world. The digital twin can then experience brands' products, win offers and claim digital collectibles that unlock unique experiences and offers," says Flipkart.

"A wide range of brands will embrace the idea of a virtual theater to showcase products and offers in this first-ever iteration of Flipverse ranging from sports apparel, wearable electronics and fashion to home appliances and cosmetics," it adds.

Many brands including Puma, Noise, Nivea, Lavie, Tokyo Talkies, Campus, VIP, Ajmal Perfumes, Himalaya, Butterfly India etc. will be participating in this edition, says Flipkart.

"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 an immersive shopping experience, especially in light of the adoption of the metaverse and web3 platforms by multiple brands in India," says Naren Ravula, vice-president and head, Product Strategy and Deployment, Flipkart Labs.

The first phase of Flipverse is an Android only experience, and will be live for a week.

"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," Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon.

Meanwhile, online retail platforms clocked ₹40,000 crore during the first week of the festive sale, registering a robust 27% year-on-year growth, according to a report by Redseer Strategy Consultants. Walmart-owned Flipkart Group continues to maintain its leadership position with 62% market share in GMV in the first week of the festive sale, according to Sanjay Kothari, associate partner, Redseer Strategy Consultants. E-commerce marketplaces usually hold up to three sales leading to the festival of Diwali. The first of these sales is usually the largest and usually accounts for more than 60% of the sales during the festive period. The first week of the festive sale included events conducted by all online retail platforms between September 22 and September 30.

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