The discount retail giant launched new app features to improve back-to-school in-store and mobile shopping.
The new Walmart back-to-school app feature enables parents to search and shop for their child’s actual school supplies list. They can then use the app to locate the store isle where they can find the item, according a recent announcement from Walmart.
For those parents with busy schedules or who simply don’t feel like making the trek to their local Walmart store to buy the items in person, the back-to-school items they want can also be delivered directly to their homes. This is made possible from Walmart’s Online Grocery Delivery service, which is available in dozens of markets.
What’s more, users of the Walmart back-to-school app can also choose to order and purchase the products online for in-store pickup.
Some privacy experts worry about the safety of the Walmart back-to-school app feature.
This isn’t the first time Walmart has integrated features into its mobile app for school-related shopping purposes. Last year, the company introduced a School Supplies List app that integrated the broadly used third-party school supply list aggregation tool known as TeacherLists. This was also designed to help families shop for school supplies online.
Like the previous app, parents can access their child’s actual school supplies list by entering in the student’s ZIP code, selecting their school and teacher, with the new Walmart app feature.
However, some privacy experts are concerned that users of this app may be paying for this useful information with their privacy. The reason is that platforms like TeacherLists, gain access to a user’s personal information, including their ZIP code, school district and other data.
“It looks like TeacherLists makes their money by gathering marketing data from their users,” said Doug Levin, a K-12 privacy expert and president of education consultancy group EdTech Strategies LLC, reported EdScoop.
If this information can be shared with other sources, it gives marketers a treasure trove of data that they can use to reach students and parents.
Needless to say, this is definitely something parents who are considering using the Walmart back-to-school app should keep in mind.