Minnesota, USA April 18, 2011- On Monday Walmart expressed intent to buy a social networking site, known as Kosmix, in order to look more attractive to its technology-driven consumers. The "always low prices" positioning is not enough to compete in the U.S. market anymore, so Walmart is getting itself into the daily living of its consumers.
After all of the activities and research we do on our phones and computers, it makes sense for Walmart to target consumers where they spend a lot of time; undeniably we may be out with coworkers or friends, yet most of us cannot resist checking our phones' messages or browsing the web.
Press releases detailed its vision, "Walmart plans to expand the @WalmartLabs team and expects this new group will create technologies and businesses around social and mobile commerce that will support Walmart's global multi-channel strategy, which integrates the shopping experience between bricks and mortar stores and e-commerce."
The social network Kosmix is characterized as a technology platform, which functions by streaming personalized real-time data in the form of tweets or posts; it creates connections between people, products, events, and places in order to accurately feed data to users.
A marketing move that does not seem risky since many large companies are teaming up with social networking sites to get a hold of their consumers; this is an obvious sign that consumers are more in control than ever before due to the growing popularity of 'sharing' and getting feedback prior to making those 'important' purchases.
Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart's vice chairman, acknowledges the market change with stating, "Social networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our customers' day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping, both online and in retail stores."
The agreement is expected to finalize within the first half of this year. It may be the start of a 'new look' for Walmart when it comes to its electronics and its attractiveness to the most tech savvy.