While eBay and Amazon are busy mailing toy catalogues, Walmart has taken its toy strategy to the next level by launching a digital ‘Toy Lab’.
Walmart has launched its latest e-commerce shopping feature – an interactive digital playground for kids. According to the cross-channel retailer, Walmart’s Toy Lab will give little shoppers the chance to play with 20 of the company’s top-rated toys, directly from their computer or tablet.
“Like stepping into an interactive unboxing video, The Walmart Toy Lab lets kids take on the role of an official Walmart Toy Tester,” the company said in a post on its blog. “Kids can virtually play with 20 of Walmart’s top holiday toys in a whimsical, colourful space and share their favourites on a digital wish list.”
Using the “Funtroller” kids can navigate through curated editorial content to take a closer look at their favourite products, play with their main features and watch other kids play with them as well. The company has also incorporated a “Don’t Push” button, which causes the digital playground’s host, Burt to do something funky, like have a dance off or turn invisible.
The experience has reportedly been developed in collaboration with interactive video entertainment company, Eko and features popular products like the Barbie Dreamhouse, Peppa Pig Fun Fair Playset and Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands.
Walmart says the Toy Lab is the first of many innovative shopping features the company is working on as part of its new partnership with Eko, as the company aims to revolutionise its online and in-store shopping experience.
The US department store isn’t the only big-box retailer scrambling to take a share of the $1 billion toy sales gap that Toys ‘R’ Us left behind when it closed its global operations earlier in the year. Amazon, eBay and Target have also taken steps to increase their market share by releasing retro toy catalogues and increasing their toy product ranges. Walmart, isn’t blind to the tactics of its competitors, having also increased its in-store range of toys by 30 percent and by 40 percent online.