New Walmart 'Shopycat' Facebook App Helps with Holiday Gifts
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
December 02 2011 05:46 PM ET
Walmart has launched its first social shopping app on Facebook, but unlike other gifting apps from big-name retailers, Walmart leaves its branding at the door and offers affordable merchandise from a wide variety of stores.
The new app, "Shopycat," determines its recommendations based on a user’s Facebook friend’s “likes” and listed interests. The app uses social data to recommend items from Walmart and other retailers including RedEnvelope, Barnes & Noble and ThinkGeek. Most of the gifts are music, books, movies below $100 each.
"Shopycat" delivers some surprises as well. For instance, Harry Potter fans get paired with a 12-item list that includes the expected selection of boxed Blu-ray sets along with a magic wand programmable remote from ThinkGeek. And beer pong players get one of the biggest list of items to choose from — 24 beer pong-related items in all.
"Shopycat" is the first Facebook app to come out of @WalmartLabs, a new unit of Walmart focused on driving mobile commerce through social media. The app is built on the Labs’ Social Genome platform that captures the connections between people, places, topics, products and events.
"Shopycat" can be used in several ways:
- Shop by Facebook friend. "Shopycat" will display a list of interests pulled from the friend’s profile along with a list of gift recommendations. Users can click on a single interest to see gifts that relate to the selected interest. A click on the gift pulls up a detailed description and a buy link that connects to the retailer’s product page.
- Manage your own wish list. Under the “My Info” tab, "Shopycat" displays all of its recommendations for you that your friends see when they use the app. Facebookers can add to the list indirectly by updating their profiles and interests.
- Bulk shopping. Users can shop by interests, rather than by individual friends. For example, if all the guys on your list love to ski, type “ski” in the search box to reveal a list of ski-related gifts, along with a list of Facebook friends who ski.
"Shopycat" is available on Facebook. Type “Shopycat” in the search bar to go to the app’s page. @WalmartLabs explains exactly what the app will access from users’ profiles. Further, "Shopycat" does not post anything on a user’s profile — which, after all, would spoil the surprise.