In light of the recent news that Facebook has joined forces with US supermarket giant Wal-Mart to partner the release of ‘My Local Wal-Mart’, social shopping represents a shift in, and perhaps the future of consumer purchasing habits, says PR Company, Punch Communications.
‘My Local Wal-Mart’ has been developed to allow fans to connect to one of the world’s largest retailers and offers neighbourhood deals, product rollbacks, and in-store events through the News Feed. The application specialises in nearby deals and has enabled more than 3,500 local Wal-Mart Facebook pages to be launched. ‘Liking’ a local Wal-Mart store allows users to access a downloadable map pinpointing the location of the store and key special details, such as contact details and in store offers.
Jessica Ward of digital PR agency Punch, says; “E-commerce has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with online shopping becoming a part of many people’s everyday activities, including clothes shopping, food shopping and in the run up to the festive period, Christmas shopping. It really is no surprise that the next step within this is social media shopping. Facebook and Wal-Mart’s recent partnership signifies the latest progression within the ever evolving social sphere. As ASDA is wholly owned by Wal-Mart, it should only be a matter of time before they follow their lead and incorporate social shopping for their brand in the UK. It could also be an ideal strategy for other UK companies to embrace, such as supermarket giants, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.”
‘My Local Walmart’ is said to be a move to compete with other online commerce contender; Amazon, which also launched several partnership components with Facebook in 2010. Although the application is a significant move within social media technology, Wal-Mart still has a lot of work to do to increase its fan base. The move from both brands echo’s a larger statement within the world of e-commerce and social media, and shows that companies are fast becoming aware of the benefits of social shopping, which is likely to become more and more popular, especially in the run up to Christmas.