Walmart Connects With Parents By Expanding App Experience
A new digital camp experience leverages the power of stars LeBron James and Drew Barrymore to guide kids through personalized virtual adventure sessions ranging from arts and makeup themes to fitness. Powered by niche retailer CAMP, the goal of Camper by Walmart is to entertain children and provide online alternatives to canceled summer entertainment.
50 virtual activities debuted through the Walmart app on July 8, with 200 more rolling out through September. âThis is the start of a content hub inside Walmart that integrates an entertainment experience with shopping,â CAMP founder Ben Kaufman told PSFK researchers. âI don’t know about you, but for the most part with the big retailers like Walmart, I think of them when I know what I need. If I need paper towels, I think of Walmart. The good thing about integrating entertainment into an app like Walmart’s main app is that it helps on the discovery side of things.
Early experiences to debut include “The Great Family Challenge,” which features activities that foster family bonding, including makeup sessions with Drew Barrymore and workouts with LeBron James, as well as an initiation from Neil Patrick Harris at one of the 14 challenges of the camp. Another is called âSkills Campâ, where virtual campers can learn new skills, like singing with Idina Menzel.
Janey Whiteside, CCO at Walmart, commentedâWe hope to bring summer fun to families across the country. We know that Walmart plays a role in our communities that goes far beyond providing them with the supplies they need, and we’re seeing it more than ever. ” Given that nearly 60 million Americans have the Walmart app on their phones, the digital series has the potential to reach many families, as well as target new demographics for both sides.
Summer-related brand Scotts commits to release
Beyond the partnership with Walmart, lawn and garden company Scotts is working with CAMP to launch another digital alternative to the quintessential summer activity: Field day. This collaboration, revealed on July 10 and taking place live on July 24, is designed to create the “World’s Biggest Field Day” where families can play games with each other and compete online. , earning points for their participation. Games include point throw, potato sack races, tick tock throw, pool noodle javelin and more. Families are invited to register and choose one of three teams to join, choose from dozens of Field Day classics to play at home, and share media like photos and video clips.
A pivot by an experiential retailer to experience a supplier
CAMP, the family experience store, was forced to close its doors during the pandemic alongside numerous retailers, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from bringing its iconic interactive activities to kids and parents. Instead, CAMP quickly went digital, starting with virtual birthday party experiences and then launching online entertainment with Walmart and Scotts.
While digital integration has always been part of CAMP’s long-term plan, its achievement has accelerated during the pandemic. In an interview with PSFK President of Research and Strategy, CAMP CEO Ben Kaufman and Marketing Director Tiffany Markofsky explained the brand’s transition and how virtual experiences began. âWe felt comfortable starting our digital journey. It’s always been part of CAMP’s master plan, but we thought we were cool and were going against the grain by going physical before going digital. The virus has forced us to go digital faster than we expected, âKaufman said.
Longer term, Kaufman expects CAMP to continue to develop its digital strategy, likely integrating it into a more flexible and fluid physical store experience. âIt’s the new normal,â Kaufman said. âWe’re going to have digital experiences and physical experiences, and then merchandise in the middle of these two pillars that facilitate both experiences. You have products that help support a digital experience, like Scotts Field day. We will send you a bag of potatoes and team t-shirts and so on. For physical experiences, obviously, we have commodities adjacent to our gaming experiences. â
Going forward, the company sees itself developing into a family business with private label offerings for brands and retailers.
Images courtesy of Walmart via the Walmart Newsroom