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09/04/2020

Walmart’s Wonder Lab Holiday Playground Ups Unboxing with Toy Testing

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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Kids can pick from hundreds of toys on Wonder Lab.

Walmart, which made headlines this week with the announcement of its Amazon Prime contender, has developed a new way for kids to engage with toys this holiday season that combines their unboxing fervor with “choose your own adventure” engagement.

The retailer’s Wonder Lab website, developed in partnership with Eko, lets kids virtually play with an assortment of this year’s top holiday toys. They can make selections on the site to unbox the toy, “throw” things at it, and engage with it through a variety of ways.

With the Lego Star Wars kit, for example, kids can choose to cut the box in half with a light saber, watch a demo of the kit being built, and then make selections for the minifigures to duel one another.

Hundreds of toys are available to play with on Wonder Lab, and the site directly links to the products available for purchase on Walmart.com.

The Wonder Lab program extends Walmart’s relationship with Eko, which last year helped it develop the Walmart Toy Lab online experience in which kids became virtual “toy testers.”

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The site offers digital ways for kids to "play" with the toys.

As retailers head into an unprecedented holiday season driven by shifting consumer behavior, rethinking their digital engagement efforts has become a top priority. With shoppers less inclined to flock to stores — and social distancing mandates expected to curb crowds — capturing digital eyeballs will be more important than ever.

Already, retailers are rethinking their traditional fall campaigns. Neiman Marcus changed its annual Fall Book campaign into an ongoing content series that also provides access to its in-store and online personalized services.

For its part, No. 1 retailer Walmart is heading into the holiday season with strong momentum. The company reported e-commerce sales growth of 97% for the period, with store sales up 9.7%.

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