) edged a step closer to its customer's hearts as it announced a
new search engine for the company website. The online users can
browse, select and buy items more easily and faster from
The new engine, christened 'Polaris', was designed and developed
by WalmartLabs, the company's hub for creating technologies and
businesses in social and mobile commerce for global shoppers.
WalmartLabs was formed after Walmart acquired Mountain View-based
Kosmix, a social media technology provider.
Experts in information retrieval, machine learning and text
mining were engaged to design and develop Polaris and Walmart.com
is fully powered by Polaris now.
Polaris has the ability to understand the intent and taste of
the user, subsequently coming out with best possible results for
the customers rather than giving a standard list that is not
important to the users.
The new engine is a success already as shoppers buying products
after searching through Polaris jumped 10% to 15%. It is expected
to accelerate Walmart's efforts to boost its international
e-commerce sites over the coming months.
Earlier in December last year, WalmartLabs had launched its
) application, Shopycat, to help its buyers choose gifts for their
friends online and avoid the holiday season rush. The details can
be found at:
Walmart's App Picks the Right Gift
Walmart is the sixth-largest Internet retailer and has been
focusing on expansion of its presence in the online business. It
has already developed its online businesses in US, UK, Canada and
Brazil. Walmart has also increased its controlling stake to 51% in
Chinese Internet retailer Yihaodian in order to further strengthen
its position. Walmart has improved its access to Chinese consumers
who increasingly use smartphones and social media to shop.
In January 2012, Walmart also acquired Small Society, the mobile
agency in Portland, which helps organizations create, develop and
launch iOS products and services for iPhone, iPad and iPod
Other retail biggies are also promoting online sales. In early
(EBAY) launched an online service, Group Gifts, which connects eBay
shoppers with friends in Facebook to collectively purchase
The new effort by WalmartLabs is expected to further drive the
earnings. In the latest concluded quarter, the company reported
earnings of $1.18 a share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by
a penny and prior-year quarter's adjusted earnings by 8%.
For the third quarter of 2013, Wal-Mart expects its earnings to
range between $1.04 and $1.09 per share. For fiscal 2013, Wal-Mart
upped and narrowed its guidance range to $4.83 to $4.93 from prior
forecast of $4.72 to $4.92. The current guidance reflects an upside
from fiscal 2012 levels.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.06 and $4.91 for
the third quarter and fiscal year 2013, respectively.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Wal-Mart, which
Costco Wholesale Corporation
). The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (a short-term 'Hold'
COSTCO WHOLE CP (COST): Free Stock Analysis
FACEBOOK INC-A (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report
TARGET CORP (TGT): Free Stock Analysis Report
WAL-MART STORES (WMT): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.