Walmart on Thursday announced plans to upgrade its baby registry process, which will feature a chatbot to create a more personalized experience for users by asking questions about the baby's "due date, gender (or gender neutral), state and preferred nursery theme," with four new themes including "woodland, modern options for baby boy and baby girl, and a classic gender-neutral option."
The company is also placing a focus on mobile by bettering the registry experience on the Walmart app, according to a Walmart blog post. Registrants can open the registry via Siri, initiate returns online, and share their registries with friends and family. Likewise, customers purchasing gifts can use the app to shop the registry, check items' in-store availability and scan a store receipt to mark the item as purchased. Walmart also said customers can add items to their registry while in store by scanning the products using the Walmart app.
Walmart also announced it added new products and brands to its registry including BOB, Jujube, Owlet, Chicco, Halo Bassinest and Hello Bello.
Walmart's announcement that it is enhancing its baby registry experience may further indicate the company is placing a greater emphasis on this market. In the wake of the Toys R Us bankruptcy, and with it the disappearance of Babies R Us from the children's space, big-box players like Walmart and Target have plenty of market share to pick up and customers to win over.
The company in February launched a new baby line, Hello Bello, with celebrity couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, which offers products that are "formulated with safe and effective ingredients, including organic botanicals when possible," priced between $1.88 and $23.94. The line challenges competition from Target and Brandless that have also expanded its product offerings in the category recently.
The company noted that the "Hoo the Owl" chatbot will continue to ask questions throughout the registry process to create a more personalized experience. For example, it will ask if consumers have preferences regarding organic or sustainable products.
Enhancing the baby registry experience through its mobile app may play in Walmart's favor. The company cited data from BabyCenter, Brand Labs Insights' "2018 Baby Registry Trends Report" that eight in 10 moms use their phones to register.
"We want to be there for mom and dad with everything they are looking for, and through experiences that make shopping for those items easy and fun," the company said.