As the largest company in the world, Walmart has a lot to lose, particularly as the last couple of years have seen an emergence of retail and social commerce sites. It's no wonder the company has been on an acquisition spree to stay ahead of the innovation curve.
The retail giant just purchased four-year-old Social Calendar, an app designed to send reminders about birthdays, holidays and other special occasions to users through e-mail.
Social Calendar has more than 15 million users worldwide and send out alerts for over 100 million birthdays. If you are a Social Calendar user, you should be prepared for many ads about what to buy at Walmart, though the Social Calendar website does tell you how to opt out if "you do not wish to receive marketing communications from Walmart."
This is not the first time Walmart has entered into the social commerce space. (Note see our interview, "How Walmart will leverage social commerce," with Venky Harinaryan, who heads up @Walmart Labs and is spearheading Walmart's social commerce efforts.)
In April of last year, Walmart bought Kosmix, a company that aggregates and organizes Twitter data, for $300 million. In May, invested in Yihaodian, an e-commerce company in China. This past September it bought OneRiot, which analyzes what is trending on sites like Facebook and Twitter, then uses the information to deliver ads to consumers. Then, in November, Walmart launched launched, Shopycat a Facebook app that gives people gift recommendations for their friends and family.
Walmart now owns two companies designed to comb over social media sites and determine what is trending and what people are talking about. It also owns an app that is specifically designed to alert people about upcoming events, and one to give them personalized recommendations for gifts.
Don't be surprised if Walmart integrates the apps into one big promotional sale for itself, based on the data given to them by Kosmix and OneRiot.
(Image source: teamaltman.com)