Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How Walmart Is Localizing Its Stores With Facebook

A Local-Social Strategy to Make Big-Box Stores More Relevant to Their Communities.

What happened to the shopkeeper who cared about customers? The answer is simple: technology. Technology has enabled two enormous changes to sweep across retail: national mega-chains and more recently, e-commerce. Both have played key roles in driving down prices by introducing greater transparency, efficiency and economies of scale. But this has come at a cost: the customer experience now feels mass-produced.

A central theme of fMC was how social media provides a way to put a human touch back into business. Facebook executives, including David Fischer, Mike Hoefflinger and Chris Cox, took the stage to explain how Facebook's Timeline redesign provides an opportunity to "reintermediate" a human touch into online interactions with customers. Less advertising, more engagement. Less cookie-cutter, more authentic. Less corporate, more local.

The biggest retail organizations around the world are slowly awakening to this sea change. Quinn and his team at Walmart have recommitted to a "social-local strategy" that would have made Sam Walton proud. 

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