Look out Amazon. Now that Babies ‘R’ Us has gone the way of the dinosaur, U.S. retail giant Walmart is ramping up its online retail space in a big way – and they are hoping to attract some of Amazon’s (and other major competitors’) customers at the same time.
On July 26th, Walmart.com unveiled a brand new landing page exclusively for all things baby, sorted by category and age, which also includes a diverse range of products from furniture and car seats, to bottles, diapers and even baby food.
"Since summer and early fall have historically been when most babies are born, now is the perfect time to introduce these new shopping features for busy families," said Lauren Uppington, vice president of Walmart's baby division online in the United States.
The timing of this shift could not be better for the American multinational retail corporation – and not just because of an increase in seasonal deliveries. As more and more parents make the switch to the convenience of virtual checkouts rather than traditional retail shopping malls, investments in online retail – specifically when it comes to baby items – could mean big bucks.
The proof is in the pudding.
With places like Toys ‘R’ Us (the now-defunct parent company of Babies ‘R’ Us) and Buy Buy Baby (owned by Bed Bath and Beyond) struggling to keep up as of late, making a broad range of items available online seems like a no-brainer. After all, online shopping is a flourishing market. In the United States alone, 40 percent of internet users reported that they purchased items online several times per month, and 20 percent said they did so weekly.
According to Walmart spokeswoman Danit Marquardt, searches for baby-related items on Walmart.com have increased 40 percent over the past year alone, during which Walmart has added an additional 30,000 items to its collection of online baby gear.
The demand is high, and competition is even higher. According to data from Statista, the market for baby-care products is expected to skyrocket in the next several years, surpassing $13 billion by 2021, and up from $11.4 billion this year. Amazon and Target are also big players in the baby game, with Target also recently undergoing a baby section makeover of its own. Not to be outdone, Amazon recently sponsored Khloé Kardashian’s baby shower (with an estimated price tag of over $6,000) to promote its Amazon Baby store and baby registry.