Let’s face it: social networking has become too big for big business to ignore.
“We are living in this world of data and the data is increasing at an exponential rate,” said Anand Rajaraman, senior vice president, Wal-Mart global e-commerce and head of @WalmartLabs. Rajaraman co-founded Kosmix, which Wal-Mart Stores Inc. acquired in April.
“All this data is not being created in corporate databases, most of it is being created in social networks — 200 million tweets a day and 1 billion Facebook shares a day,” he added. “A lot of it is out in the open, people sharing information about themselves on Facebook and Twitter. This gives you tons and tons of data.”
People are obviously spending more and more time on social media to generate that much data. The reason, said Rajaraman, is that “friends matter. Why is this important from a commerce point of view? Stores are downtown because that’s where the people are. If people are going to be spending their time on social media, that’s where the shopping is going to happen.”
Rajaraman said @WalmartLabs wants to figure out how social media and mobile affect shopping. “You can see the beginning of virtual commerce on Facebook,” he said. When it comes to shopping, there are two very different motivators. “Social media is about interest. A search is about intent.
“Past purchases are a weak predicator of future purchases,” Rajaraman said. “Future purchase intent is driven by interest.”
One reason for Wal-Mart’s interest in Kosmix is its Social Genome platform, which builds profiles of users, topics, products, places and events. The platform runs three distinct products: Tweetbeat, a social filter for live tweets; RightHealth, a database of health-related information, and Kosmix.com, which lets users explore information related to a topic with the addition of videos, photos and news links.
“We do analysis of what people are saying on Facebook and Twitter,” Rajaraman said. Social Genome will bring greater understanding about consumers and product, allowing Wal-Mart to take search, personalization, and recommendations to the next level, he said.
Wal-Mart is launching a gift recommender for holiday developed by @Walmart Labs. Called Shoppycat, it will be available on walmart.com. The way it works is that a friend recommends a book, for example, on Facebook and buys it as a gift for a second friend.
Another strategy @WalmartLabs is working on is the store of the community. It’s a concept Wal-Mart has been working on in the nonvirtual world for years, with varying degrees of success. For example, the retailer has tried to tailor products to local clientele, stocking up on Spanish foods and ingredients in Hispanic neighborhoods.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion