Sunday, December 4, 2011

Walmart unleashes Shopycat holiday gift finder

SAN BRUNO, Calif., Dec. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Walmart today announced the launch of Shopycat, the first social shopping app from its recently-formed @WalmartLabs unit. Shopycat gives Facebook's 800 million users the ability to quickly find gifts for friends and family based on their tastes and interests as they rush to finish their holiday shopping. The app uses social data to recommend items from Walmart.com, Walmart stores and other sites including RedEnvelope, Barnes & Noble and ThinkGeek.

Shopycat is designed to trigger gift ideas for friends ranging from music, books and movies to games and electronics, making gifting more fun and saving on time and the pressures of discovering the perfect gift. A friend who might have shared interests in the movie "Super 8," yoga and parenting, will have Shopycat recommend an exclusive edition of the movie, a fashionable yoga mat tote bag and a book on scream-free parenting. For people who are not active on Facebook with their likes and interests, Shopycat will recommend gift cards from Walmart.com as well as iTunes, Starbucks and Zynga. 

"As human beings, we are inherently social and shopping is one of the most social activities we engage in. Our vision is to delight consumers and Shopycat is a first step in that direction with social and shopping coming together on the scale of Walmart," said Venky Harinarayan, senior vice president of Walmart Global eCommerce and co-founder of @WalmartLabs. "At Walmart, we see social commerce fueling the next generation of e-commerce where online and retail stores bring a continuous shopping experience to millions of users. We plan to continue experimenting with products as we build new social apps over the coming year."

Shopycat Features

Shopycat is based on @WalmartLabs' Social Genome platform that captures the connections between people, places, topics, products and events as expressed through social media be it a post, like or profile update. It is designed to help people find at least one gift for their friends, making gifting hassle-free and more enjoyable.

With Shopycat, users can:

• Find and buy gifts for friends: See customized gift recommendations for any friend on Facebook, quickly get product information and purchase items from Walmart.com for home delivery or see availability at your local Walmart store and drive over to purchase the item.

• Get the gifts you really want: Under the "My Info" tab, you see what Shopycat is recommending to your friends as gifts to get for you. Update your profile and interests to receive the gifts you want.

• Shop for gifts based on general interests: For friends who have general interests such as "golf," get recommendations and purchase items that any golf enthusiast might like such as a book on "501 Answers to Golf's Most Intriguing Questions" or the "Golf Liar's Dice" game for post-golf relaxation.
• Invite friends: Invite your friends into Shopycat to share interests and get gift recommendations.

Shopycat is available immediately at www.facebook.com/shopycat. For images and video, visit http://www.walmartlabs.com/for-the-press/.

Since its founding in May of this year, @WalmartLabs has been building market momentum through new products, acquisitions and expansion. In November, Walmart announced a new mobile app for the iPad and updates to its iPhone app to make shopping online and in stores easier. Walmart recently acquired Grabble and OneRiot, to add to the team's social and mobile efforts. A few weeks ago, @WalmartLabs India opened a technology center in Bangalore to hire approximately 100 technologists.

About @WalmartLabs
@WalmartLabs is based in the heart of Silicon Valley. The business unit creates platforms, products and businesses around social and mobile commerce to support Walmart's global strategy of seamlessly integrating the shopping experience between brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce. For more information, visit www.walmartlabs.com.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 9,700 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com

SOURCE Walmart

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