Will Walmart’s new registry make parents forget Babies ‘R’ Us?
A wide range of retailers rushed in to fill the gap left in the toy market when Toys “R” Us shuttered its doors across America. The same can be said for the baby products category as retailers have been looking to provide parents, grandparents and others who used to shop at Babies “R” Us when little ones needed everyday items or gifts. That’s where Walmart’s new baby registry comes in.
According to the retailer’s blog, many parents find the process of starting a baby registry somewhat overwhelming. The retailer’s goal, as a result, was to simplify the process. Not only did this include having everything from A to Z for baby’s needs, but the addition of an “adorable chatbot” to help those setting up a registry or looking to purchase an item.
The chatbot known as Hoo the Owl has been designed to ask questions in a fun and engaging way. Walmart users answers to such questions as due date, location, preferred nursery theme, gender or non-gender preferences to personalize each registry.
The retailer plans to expand Hoo’s knowledge base with additional questions such as whether organic and/or sustainable product options are preferred. It will also add to its nursery theme options.
Walmart has filled out its website with thousands of new items over the past year to make sure its inventory is in line with what its registry members want.
Those setting up or buying for the registry may access it through Walmart’s mobile app. According to the retailer, eight in 10 new moms use their phones to add items to the registry.
In a real sense, Walmart is playing catch up in the online baby category. While the retailer told CNBC that traffic to its baby pages is up 30 percent year-over-year, it is still way behind Amazon.com. USA Today, citing an IBISWorld report, shows Amazon.com leads market share in the category at 27.5 percent with Target a distant second at 5.8 percent .
Getting people to shop for baby items on Walmart has positive effects that go beyond the retailer’s registry. A company spokesperson told CNBC that parents often decrease the number of places they shop for their kids after babies are born and that those who sign up for its registry “significantly increase their spend with Walmart across all categories.”
- Registering for Baby Just Got a Whole Lot Easier with Walmart’s New Registry Experience – Walmart
- What do you need when you’re expecting a baby? Walmart, Target want to be the answer – USA Today
- Walmart upgrades its baby registry, hoping to woo new parents, and keep their business – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Walmart on the right track with its baby registry? Do you see the retailer having more advantages than its rivals as it seeks to gain share of the market through the new registry and other efforts?