Laurence Faguer alerted me on her blog about Wall Mart activities online. As Wall Mart is dominating the retailing industry, they are about to dominate the Internet too.
That was pretty nice to this article because couple of weeks ago I was wondering if Wall Mart was a web 2.0 adept. What is remarkable, is that Wall Mart built its online presence whereas none of his competitors realy master this medium. Therefore, Wall Mart is way in advance compare to competition.
Wall Mart took many different initiatives online:
- Wall Mart launched its own classifieds list online service
- A blogger community for mothers: Eleven moms. "ElevenMoms, a mommy-blogger network that's already doubled to 22 bloggers and is still growing, also has become a conduit for programs from P&G's Pantene and Unilever's Suave."
- Soundcheck: an online music store
- A Microsite for the DVD release of Twilight, which led to a preorder record for the online store.
Now one of the biggest challenge for Wall Mart is to manage its brand reputation. They have already had a lot of problems in the past dealing with their image, with different controversy emerging. New social media, and trendy service Twitter enable consumers to spread the word easilly on a large scale.
A Twitter search on "Walmart OR Wal-Mart" yields three or four new tweets every minute, many none too flattering. Walmart accepts this as part of the territory. "We do not see ourselves as trying to control what happens," Ms. Young said. You can't control what people say about you on the web, but you can be a good listener.
"The organic nature of the web means that when you are the world's largest retailer, people will talk," said Wanda Young, senior director-digital marketing at Walmart. "And we're OK with that. We believe the hallmark of a really great brand is that you are relevant. And part of the way you do that is listening to what your customers have to say."I believe there is a lot to be done by retailers online. Grocery products might not be emotional for customers, but because grocery retails welcome frequently (once a week) its customers, they are a socialization vector, and are one of the core place of customer relationship management (of course for retailers but also for suppliers). Great example on how the leading retailer Wall Mart has used these new social media and Internet to create added value and enhance its customer relationship management strategy.