Walmart could be on the way to honing its recommendations skills through a new purchase made by its tech R&D group, WalmartLabs.
The item in the digital shopping cart is Luvocracy, a three-year-old online community for surfacing product recommendations made by the most persuasive of tastemakers: family, friends and select online influencers.
Ben Galbraith, vice president of Global Products at Walmart.com, described Luvocracy in a blog post on Tuesday, highlighting trending and collection features while also suggesting throwback references to the heyday of retail catalogs.
"In the retail business, we thrive on these moments — on finding products we think our customers will love and introducing them to each other," said Galbraith. "Whether in pages, pixels, or aisles, facilitating such moments is at the very core of what we at Walmart do."
Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
WalmartLabs noted that "sixteen highly talented people" will be joining the new parent company. That includes some of the existing leadership at Luvocracy, such as CEO and co-founder Nathan Stoll.
But Luvocracy's team page lists a few dozen developers and specialists, some of whom will not be moving over to WalmartLabs for undisclosed reasons.
Some of WalmartLabs's previous acquisitions include web developer Torbit, Platform-as-a-Service startup OneOps, and product search and e-commerce outfit Adchemy.
Most recently, the division marked its 13th takeover in three years with the purchase of Stylr, a location-based mobile app that allows shoppers to find clothes in nearby stores.