As the holidays approach, many Americans find themselves wandering through shops or endlessly browsing websites to try to find something, anything to buy for friends and family. Walmart hopes to attract some new business by offering an easier solution to this dilemma, with the introduction of its new Shopycat app, according to PCWorld.
Shopycat, designed by Walmart’s new @WalmartLabs, integrates with Facebook and analyzes the interests and activities of users’ friends to provide suggestions for them based on inventories from Walmart and certain other stores, including Barnes & Noble and RedEnvelope.
The app offers specific gift ideas for individuals, but also offers an explanation of where the suggestions come from, allowing for some simple checks before committing to a gift.
Venky Harinarayan, senior vice president of Walmart global ecommerce and cofounder of @WalmartLabs, noted to Forbes that the question of how to determine an appropriate gift from social media interactions can prove difficult, since all product mentions do not necessarily make for gift suggestions, but that the technology is improving.
PCWorld notes that this follows the recent trend in this field set when eBay purchased recommendation engine Hunch.