Walmart goes for an 'A' in back-to-school innovation
Walmart has unveiled new shopper tools designed to leverage the retailer's second-busiest season of the year.
The retailer has substantially increased the number of back-to-school and back-to-college items customers can order using its Online Grocery Pickup and Pickup Today services, and introduced “Back-to-School Helpers” in stores that will help customers save some time while they shop.
The retailer is also launching a dedicated back-to-school destination – walmart.com/classroomsupplies – that enables customers to search and shop the actual school supplies list from ultimately more than a million classrooms across the United States.
“This back-to-school season, we’re keeping the math problems simple – adding savings, subtracting time,” said Scott Bayles, vice president of stationery, Walmart U.S. “It’s always been our job to save our customers money and we aren’t changing – you can still find more than 300 items under $1 at Walmart this back-to-school season – but we’re doing more than that. We’re also saving our customers time with easy ways to shop and multiple ways to get these items to students, so everyone can ace their school shopping.”
Pickup Power – Walmart customers have a favorite subject: Pickup. Customers who choose to order online and pick up in stores will enjoy the convenience of having a Walmart associate shop for them – meaning they never even have to spend time browsing aisles. And just in time for the season, Walmart has significantly expanded the number of items customers can order online and pick up in its stores, with tens of thousands more items across all categories since last year. Pickup is an especially convenient option for college students and their parents, who can shop for back-to-college items on Walmart.com and pick them up at a store closer to campus.
- Online Grocery Pickup – Walmart is keeping the math simple and the numbers big, subtracting an extra trip to stores. There are now hundreds of back-to-school staples available for Online Grocery Pickup shopping (a 150 percent increase*) so customers can stock their fridge with lunchroom favorites at the same time they shop for supplies and have them delivered right to their car. Walmart currently has more than 800 Online Grocery Pickup locations across the country.
- Pickup Today – Walmart has doubled the number of items available for same-day pickup,* including the top 400+ back-to-school items – so kids and college students can be at the top of the class in no time.
“Back-to-School Helpers” – Walmart’s Holiday Helpers didn’t graduate after the holiday season – they’re helping for the first time this school year and are ready to assist customers to checkout, find the shortest lines and add any last-minute items they may have forgotten, so no one is unprepared when the bell rings.
Shopping Lists in a Flash – Back-to-school shopping shouldn’t be rocket science. Walmart is integrating the popular resource, TeacherLists, into a dedicated back-to-school shopping destination that will enable customers to connect with classrooms to get school supply lists directly from teachers – so this isn't a best guess supply list; it’s the real deal from the teachers themselves.
Using their zip code to search, customers can quickly find their individual classroom list or shop from a general grade supplies list. And with the simple click of the “Add All to Cart” button, customers can instantly add all items to their basket and then choose whether to pick up the items at their local store or ship them to their home. Many of the top back-to-school items on Walmart.com are available for free two-day shipping on orders over $35.
Currently, nearly 500,000 classroom lists are available for search, with the number expected to grow to more than a million by the end of August, representing the vast majority of schools and classrooms across the United States.
Everyday Low Prices – For the past 55 years, customers have been able to count on Walmart to provide everyday low prices on the supplies they need to get back to class. Customers can find A+ pricing on items from laptops and wireless speakers to pencils, notebooks, binders and more. Walmart has more than 300 classroom essentials for less than $1, more than 600 items for less than $2 and over 1,000 items for less than $3. Notable rollbacks this season include Elmer’s 4-ounce glue to $.50, Georgia-Pacific 500-sheet copy paper to $2.97 and Bic 10+2 ct. 7mm Mechanical pencil to $1.57.
Top of the Class Assortment – This season, Walmart will offer all the essentials in school supplies and the hottest on-trend dorm décor to fit the needs of students at every age. According to the National Retail Federation, 47 percent of people have already started back-to-school shopping and 35 percent have started back-to-college shopping.