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.
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
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@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)