Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is adding school uniforms to its online classroom-supply lists this year, along with Spanish-language lists and the ability for shoppers to get cash-back donations for their schools, Internet Retailer reported on Tuesday (July 23).
The chain's back-to-school website, Classrooms By Walmart, provides supply and uniform lists by school, which shoppers can search by Zip code. The number of schools actually providing the lists isn't large; what Walmart has managed to do is collect a reasonably thorough list of schools for each area. When customers click on their child's school and there's no list, the website offers a pre-written e-mail message to send to the school requesting the supply lists. Walmart says 40,000 schools have submitted lists so far this year, compared with 16,000 last year.
An engineer with seven kids who works at @WalmartLabs, the retailer's California-based technology group, came up with the online supply list idea last year.
The idea of back-to-school supply lists is ancient, and putting them online isn't new either. But Walmart has also figured out that it's cheaper and much easier for the chain if parents do the work of getting the supply lists posted on Walmart.com. The supply lists also make it possible for the chain to provide some stores with uniforms exactly as specified by local schools.
All the usual CRM opportunities are also presumably on Walmart's menu—even if customers don't buy from Walmart, the ZIP code search tells the chain who has come to the website to search. None of that is new either. But if the program continues to scale up successfully, Walmart is putting itself in an interesting position: the go-to place for finding school-supply lists.
- See this Internet Retailer story
Millennials Pick Walmart Over Amazon—At Least After They Become Parents
JCPenney's Back-To-School Turnaround Depends On A Ron Johnson Hire
Back-To-School Creep Is Here, But It May Not Help