What’s Wal-Mart Really Doing with Classifieds? A Few Details

One of the great mysteries is what Wal-Mart is really doing with classifieds. Last June, it signed up to use the Oodle platform, but not much has been heard from it since.

In this week’s AdAge, Walmart’s Duncan Dreschel sheds a little light, noting that the company seeks to simultaneously extend the brand, drive traffic to the site and help customers. “We see part of our role as connecting customers to help each other. It also allows us to provide a more complete offering.

“We’re looking at lots of things to make classifieds evolve,” he added. Already, he noted, some people close deals struck on the website in the parking lot of their nearest store.

3 thoughts on “What’s Wal-Mart Really Doing with Classifieds? A Few Details

  1. With the size of many Wal-Mart parking lots, maybe they turn part of them into the local weekend swap meets, with the classifieds serving as a “pre-sale inventory” listings

  2. This classifieds venture seems very likely to have real impact. I’m not pooh-poohing this one.

    It’s very interesting to me that Wal-Mart recognizes the importance of the face-to-face element of local personal classifieds. They appear to see that they can provide a physical venue for the local marketplace (the parking lot) to parallel the cyber venue.

    I wonder if they’ll also start to co-opt flea markets, yard sales etc. Believe me, I’m not kidding. They already encourage RVers to use their parking lots for overnight stays.

    Newspapers used to be fully integrated in community life, but many have lost the thread. Wal-Mart, however, continues to integrate itself into the life of its customers. In Weaverville NC or Vandalia IL or just about any mostly small town, Wal-Mart is the nonsectarian social center as well as its business hub. Facebook, Twitter and Amazon all in MeatSpace. They recognize the social value of the area around their stores and are using it well.

    Interesting to watch them begin to ooze into cyberspace as well.

  3. With the amount of power (i.e. money) that Wal-Mart already possesses you wouldn’t think they would need to worry about classified ads. Regardless, best of luck to Wal-Mart in their classifieds venture.I’ll still purchase from their stores either way.

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