Walmart and Mattel are trying new ways to sell toys to children, with an interactive video store featuring different “floors” with toys.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the store is called KidHQ, and it lets users browse through toys and has interactive “choose-your-own-adventure” type features.
Walmart’s Toy Lab floor lets users watch child actors try out all kinds of different toys. Mattel has Barbie’s DreamFloor, and users can help Barbie make her video blog, all while looking through different toys. The videos say that they are ads.
The platform has a “grownups only” floor to let parents look at their children’s wish lists and purchase toys using Walmart.com.
“It’s a new way for kids to interact with the Barbie brand,” said Janet Hsu, chief franchise officer at Mattel. “[Sales] wouldn’t hurt, but the reason we are doing this is to deepen the engagement with the brand.”
The platform was made by Eko, which is a startup that got $250 million from Walmart to create it. The initial version of the platform was successful, with 8 million interactions and visitors spending an average of 13 minutes on the site, with 13 interactions per visit.
About 12 percent of people added a toy to a wish list, Walmart said.
Eko also has its own platform that features interactive videos from Buzzfeed, Refinery 29 and other companies.
That video platform is also successful, with users in the “single-digit millions,” said Ivy Sheibar, chief business officer at Eko.
“When you have meaningful choice on platforms with superior tech, you will see the engagement, the completion rates, the click-through rates that get people to sit up and take notice,” she said. “What we are seeing here is a real hole left by Toys ‘R’ Us leaving the ecosystem. We’re giving kids and parents a place to experience toys, while giving parents the ability to understand what their kids are interested in — but doing it in a way that can be fun for both.”