Walmart Buys Kosmix. What Does That Mean?
Color us confused. We’ve read numerous stories about Walmart’s
acquisition of Kosmix, a company that "filters and organizes content in
social networks to connect people with real-time information that matters to
we still aren’t getting it.
A Walmart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez told Consumer
move was about engaging customers where they are — social and mobile — and
developing ways to integrate the shopping experience between bricks and mortar
Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart’s vice chairman, said, "We are expanding
our capabilities in today’s rapidly growing social commerce environment. Social
networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our
customers’ day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping,
both online and in retail stores. We are excited to have the Kosmix team join
us to accelerate the development of our social and mobile commerce offerings."
Walmart said it plans to integrate Kosmix into a new tech division called
@WalmartLabs, which is charged with developing social and mobile commerce technologies.
Our own visit to Kosmix to run a few searches on topics of interest left
us underwhelmed. Results coming back were not current and a few were not really
related to our search objectives. Not having visited the site before, we figured
it was just us. Then we came across a Consumer Reports article that
made us feel a little better.
"A visit to Kosmix’s Home Appliances page did turn up some general
articles on appliance buying from Kiplinger’s and Consumer
including a video on how we test appliances. But news from the Philadelphia
Inquirer on building-material thefts, broken links to stories on Helium.com,
and brief stories from sites like wikiHow were less empowering. And along with
a plethora of Twitter posts, Kosmix’s Washing Machines page includes
a Wikipedia entry on washing machines, a totally unrelated article from articlebasement.com
on the importance of dreams, and some unrelated YouTube videos."
managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners and an investor in Kosmix,
has been able to connect dots not yet completely obvious to us.
He told The
Wall Street Journal, "Wal-Mart is going to leapfrog
into social and mobile commerce. All of these traditional retailers are going
to need to evolve or die. I think social media and mobile are going to completely
change the game."
Rick Moss, co-founder and president of RetailWire, tried his best
to dumb it down for us.
"Working with Walmart, I would think the opportunity would be to develop
highly specialized search strings and algorithms that they would refine over
time to filter out what people are saying about their stores and their competitors. To
me, it looks like Walmart researched what company was able to do the deepest
dive into the data and bought them. They’ll now just start exploring the possibilities."
- Walmart Announces Acquisition of Social Media Company Kosmix – Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc./PRNewswire via COMTEX
- Could Walmart’s deal with Kosmix confuse curious consumers? – Consumer
- Wal-Mart to buy social-media firm Kosmix to beef up mobile, Web retail
Discussion Question: Would you help us out? Please explain why purchasing Kosmix is a great move for Walmart.