Blog: Wal-Mart launches "My Local Wal-Mart" app

Katie Smith | 13 October 2011

Wal-Mart has launched its latest social media venture with a Facebook app designed to provide its customers in the US with a "personalised" shopping experience.

The retail giant said Facebook users that "like" its stores on the social networking site will receive information on savings and updates on new products available in their local Wal-Mart stores from the latest LED-TV to organic dog food.

The My Local Wal-Mart app will see 3,500 store-specific Facebook pages provide locally-relevant information. To access the "My Local Walmart" page, Facebook users should visit facebook.com/Walmart then click on the "My Local Walmart" and follow instructions. Wal-Mart and Facebook added that it will continue to add additional features to the app.

The venture marks the latest attempt by manufacturers and retailers to use social media to connect with customers.

This year, PepsiCo teamed up with Highland Capital Partners, aiming to use social media and technology more effectively. In April, Frito-Lay's Facebook community acquired over 1.5m new 'likes' in 24 hours and as a result of which fans were rewarded with free bags of potato crisps. 

Unilever also adapted the idea of using social media to connect to consumers by launching a Facebook app for Ben & Jerry's ice cream. European consumers were encouraged to choose which ice cream flavours currently available in the US market they wanted to be sold in Europe.  

Meanwhile, drinks giant Diageo announced a major marketing tie-up with Facebook last month, in a deal worth at least US$10m. 

However, a recent report from just-food revealed that many companies do not measure the return on investment (ROI) they get from the use of social media. Surprisingly, over 54% of executives in the food and drink industries said they did not monitor the ROI their companies make on social media networks.

That scrutiny, however, is likely to increase with the likes of Wal-Mart investing more into the area.


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