Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced a partnership with Facebook to create pages specifically tailored for each of its more than 3,500 locations. These pages will be designed to recreate the feel of the local store and allow customers to get information on new products, events, and discount offers.
Shoppers who sign up with their local Wal-Mart store page will receive two notifications per week on special offers on average. Shoppers planning bargain shopping trips on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, will be able to download maps of the store that mark the exact location of specific advertised specials to cut down on time and frustration at the store.
The executive vice president of Wal-Mart’s U.S. division, Stephen Quinn, said during a media conference call, “This allows us to make our stores relevant on a local level. This addresses our `next-generation’ customers who are using a lot of social media. A national message is often not as relevant.”
Facebook fans of Wal-Mart made many requests to the company to see more localized messages, including information about new products, local produce, and special events such as cooking demonstrations. The company would eventually like to be able to make offers for its Facebook fans more personalized by tailoring them to products they “like” on the website.
The partnership is the first of its kind for a large merchant with Facebook. In 2010, Facebook began allowing retailers, manufacturers, and brands to place the “like” button on their websites, making it easier for Facebook members to display their preferences with their friends.
Nearly 50% of active adults on Facebook are followers of a brand, and there are 100 million “likes” on pages every day. The average Facebook user has 130 to 150 friends who are connected to 8,000 more friends.
Many companies have begun using Facebook to develop a deeper relationship with their customers. The ability to respond quickly to consumer demands is one of the biggest benefits of using the social networking site, often resulting in higher customer retention and increased sales.
Wal-Mart is currently trying to reverse nine straight quarters of declining revenue at its U.S. stores that have been open for at least a year.