The race is on. From advertising, branding, analytics to actual selling, no one wants to miss the opportunity that social networking can offer. Retail giant Walmart has taken a series of step that shows its seriousness about social commerce. The advantage social commerce can offer to a customer is that they can get targeted and very personalized recommendations. It can also do wonders for the brand if the whole deal of personalised recommendation comes across as a thoughtful gesture from the company.
Walmart acquired Kosmix, a company that specialises in semantic web analysis. Now it is hiring developers to strengthen its e commerce unit. Walmart is also partnering with Facebook to bring a local flavour to over 3500 stores in US. The idea is that people can connect with their local stores much better. A Facebook page on each local store can provide handy information on new products and in store events. If the Facebook page is accessed from mobile, it can be even more convenient. Data from local stores added with analysis by Kosmix on customer buying trends would go a long way in optimizing inventory and appropriate stocking for the company. The ‘social genome’ technology of Kosmix would help combine the local store data with conversations that happen on social network.
Walmart also acquired Grabble, a company with a technology that helps connect point of sale with mobile. The goal of the Walmart’s e commerce unit called @Walmartlabs is focused on connecting with the customer in most innovative ways. Walmart being on an acquiring spree for tech companies that can help streamline user experience from searching to actual buying, it may not be long before other big retailers follow the line.