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Wal-Mart’s New Face

Posted By Bryan Eisenberg On August 9, 2007 @ 6:06 am In Retail,Social Media,Word of Mouth,e-commerce | 4 Comments

walmart_facebook.jpg [1]The world’s largest retailer is embracing the conversation. Just recently Wal-Mart added customer reviews to Walmart.com [2]. Yesterday, Wal-Mart [3] launched the “Roommate Style Match” group on Facebook, with the hopes to engage Facebook [4]‘s college-age customers.

Wal-Mart said it expects to keep the “Roommate Style Match” Facebook group active until October 31, in hopes of capturing a good chunk of the back-to-school spend. According to a study conducted last year by the National Retail Federation [5], the average first-year college student spent $1,112.62, mainly on electronics and home furnishings.

The Wal-Mart Facebook group [6]is being launched a month after Wal-Mart launched its “Site to Store” program, which lets customers order products on its Web site and have them shipped to a local Wal-Mart store for free.

The activities in this group let you take a quiz to determine your dorm style. You’ll then be given a list of items (sold at Wal-Mart) that are recommended for you, based on your style. These recommendation lists are downloadable, and also provide direct links to Wal-Mart’s retail site. To make it social, though, you’ll also be able to mesh styles with your roommate. Promoted in this group are eco-friendly products, as well as “Soundcheck” which is Wal-Mart’s website showcasing musical performances from singers like Bon Jovi and Mandy Moore.

Hopefully college students will have more luck joining the group than I did. I did a search for “Roommate Style Match” on Facebook and could not find the group. (Anyone who does, please add a link in the comments.)

I wonder how receptive college students will be to Wal-Mart’s new group. With the exception of this one [7], most groups found searching for Wal-Mart are quite uncomplimentary [8]. How would you rate their chances of success in fostering conversation?

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URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/08/09/wal-marts-new-face/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/Bryan/walmart_facebook.jpg

[2] Wal-Mart added customer reviews to Walmart.com: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/07/19/say-what-you-will-about-walmartcom-seriously/

[3] Wal-Mart: http://www.walmart.com

[4] Facebook: http://www.facebook.com

[5] National Retail Federation: http://www.nrf.com/

[6] Wal-Mart Facebook group : http://mashable.com/2007/08/08/wal-marts-facebook-group-for-back-to-school-shopping/

[7] this one: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2209815480

[8] quite uncomplimentary: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2205087081

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