Much of Walmart's success lies in their use of Chinese manufacturing and the expectation of their vendors to follow suit. Now as they prepare to try and conquer the social media space, recent acquisitions and new apps show they mean to attack this market as aggressively as they went in to China.
"Walmart listens to its Facebook friends…all 9 million of them. In response to Facebook fans seeking a more local focus from the brand, Walmart is launching more than 3,500 store-specific Facebook pages. The 'My Local Walmart' Facebook application will provide locally-relevant information on everything from new electronics to hot Rollbacks, as well as continue to illustrate the brand's commitment to creating a deeper relationship with people in the communities it serves," Walmart announced.
Add this move with their acquisition of Kosmix- a social media filter aggregating information by topic from websites, Twitter messages, and other sources in real time - a potentially important new way to give shoppers information, and get it from them - and last month's purchase of OneRiot which analyzes streams on sites like Facebook and Twitter to deliver relevant ads to consumers - and Walmart may be ready to become a serious player in the social media space.
Given their ecommerce skills and well known brand, Walmart is the perfect partner for Facebook to increase their ability to provide a contained purchase platform. All transactions can be done inside the Facebook site, thus keeping the user within their contained content wall.
Auto dealers have also been using the Facebook APIto build inventory sales points within the site. Seems everyone wants to become a fully functioning citizen of Facebook country.
With the holiday shopping season about to start, Walmart has timed this entry well. How successful the platform is will be seen in the numbers reported early next year.