Walmart marries mobile app to wedding and baby registry features
Walmart is the latest retailer to add gift registry capabilities to its mobile application, letting users create, manage and share their wedding or baby registry anytime, anywhere.
The app lets consumers scan items with their phone to their registry in-store or choose from thousands of items online. The move, coming after Best Buy and Bed Bath and Beyond brought out mobile gift-registry services, points to how retailers see potential in the under-served space.
“Creating a registry happens during some of the happiest moments in our customers’ lives and we want to be there for them,” said Jaeme Laczkowski, a spokeswoman for Walmart, Bentonville, AR.
“The new mobile registry is another example of how Walmart is integrating its online and mobile capabilities with more than 5,000 stores to provide our customers with a better shopping experience.”
The feature leverages a simple design to let baby and wedding registries be created and managed through the app. Gift-givers can also view and purchase from registries. After the user downloads the app, he or she can click on the gift registry. Pressing buttons let the user create either a baby registry or wedding registry or find a registry.
Simplifying the registry space.
Clicking on create a baby registry asks the user to check either boy, girl or surprise, and then requests the due date and the name of the person to be registered.
Similarly, a wedding registry can be created by going to the create wedding registry button, then responding with date of event, registrant’s name and the state.
The design makes it easy for customers to create and manage their registry whenever and wherever they want.
For example, an expectant mom can create her baby registry, browse for items and add them to her registry right from her phone. And, if she wants to go to a Walmart store to see the products first, she can add items to her registry by simply scanning the item with her phone.
For those looking to buy a gift, the app is a way to find registries through the app for easy in-store and online shopping.
Wedding registries are only available at a small number of large-scale retailers, creating an opportunity for others to enter the conversation since it is not an overly crowded space.
Having this capability available through the mobile channel will likely garner more use, because consumers are always looking for more convenient ways to complete their tasks.
Early this month, Bed Bath and Beyond took its wedding registry to the next level via a new print-to-digital tool that easily added an item from a catalog by holding a smartphone over the page and tapping a hot spot.
As a leader in wedding registries, the new augmented reality offering reflected how Bed Bath and Beyond was betting on mobile technology to enhance the experience.
Mobile continues to grow for the retailer, which recently reported that it saw nearly double the number of digital orders placed via mobile in 2014 as well as significant growth in transactions where shoppers reserved an item online and picked it up in-store.
In February, Best Buy entered the underserved wedding registry space with a new mobile-enabled service.
Best Buy considered research from the Knot’s 2014 Bridal Registry Study that stated more than 1.5 million couples register for wedding gifts each year, choosing items from an average of retailers.
By this month, the retailer planned to have in-store kiosks in all Best Buy locations to help registrants and gift-givers view and print wedding registry lists. Couples can have the option of syncing their registry with MyRegistry.com and TheKnot.com.
Last year, online wedding registry Zola took advantage of the release of iOS 8 by integrating gift tracking and Web capabilities to its mobile application.
Growing Walmart’s consumer network.
“A gift registry is, by its very nature, both social and interactive and also has an obvious commerce tie-in,” said Wilson Kerr of Unbound Commerce. “A couple can log-in and manage their registry in the mobile context, via the app, and add items they come across.
“It is likely that Walmart can also tie their app in to the wide variety of third-party apps that already exist for managing wedding registries and, as such, expose the Walmart commerce app to wider network of consumers,” he said.
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York