Walmart ups the ante on toys with unusual digital offering

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Walmart ups the ante on toys with unusual digital offering

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 11/16/2018
Walmart is going all in on its efforts to win market share in toys this holiday season.

The discount giant on Friday unveiled a new online feature called The Walmart Toy Lab, where children can virtually play with 20 of Walmart’s top holiday toys. The experience is produced through a partnership with Walmart and interactive entertainment company Eko. It is one of the first collaborations since Walmart entered into a joint venture with Eko in October.

Like stepping into an interactive unboxing video, the Toy Lab lets kids take on the role of an official Walmart Toy Tester. The experience is guided by a child host named Burt, who guides kids to use the “Funtroller,” or colorful virtual buttons displayed on the screen. The icons enable kids to select toys to test, view product detail, play with the toys’ main features, and watch other children interact with the actual toy. After testing, they can add the toy to their digital wish list, the Toy Box, and share with Santa or their parents.

The Walmart Toy Lab is just one of the pieces of the company’s holiday strategy. The company will also host 19,000 in-store events and demonstrations that enable customers to “test” specific products, and take pictures with Santa, among other attractions. The events, which will be ongoing until Dec. 24, will be complemented by digital content from online influencers.

Walmart’s redesigned website features new services for the holidays, including curated and editorial content that make assortments more discoverable, as well as gift guides, and a “new deals” hub that will be refreshed regularly. Category shopping destinations will also deliver holiday-specific experiences.

Walmart is also making “millions of items” sold on its marketplace eligible for free two-day shipping on orders over $35. The service, which does not require a membership, will launch in mid-November.

This is in addition to the to more than two million items sold online that are also eligible for free shipping when orders surpass $35. No membership fee applies.