When you think of Walmart you generally think of low prices and a general store where you can buy pretty much any product that you need. Short of selling phones, you never really thought of Walmart as a huge player in the mobile world. With the reports of a recent purchase by the retail giant that could very soon change.
Walmart has reportedly purchased mobile developer, Small Society. The startup isn’t likely a name that you have heard of. That said they have an impressive track record and have worked with mobile app development for household names such as Amazon, Whole Foods, and Starbucks among other companies. The startup, based in Portland, will be joining a portion of the team in Oregon from @WalmartLabs, an endeavor launched by the corporation to handle the social and mobile commerce space.
Walmart in the past has also made purchases of startups that consist of a social media and search platform as well as a firm that uses interest data across social networks to help create more targeted ads. All these purchases point to Walmart building a mobile presence through an app and possibly some social media prowess. The question is to what extent this presence will exist.
The app will likely allow people to purchase products online from the retailer. However, all this would really require is a mobile version of their current site. Walmart has already stated in getting involved in the current technology so any chance of them introducing their own tablet or operating system is nonexistent. More likely is that Walmart may combine the social media with the app and incorporate their shopping. This could include things like sharing purchases or even offering discounts to people who help Walmart with their social media goals
All in all this is really all speculation. We don’t even know how much Walmart paid for Small Society, let alone what they are planning to use them for. As with many things, only time will tell in this case.