Daily deals service Groupon is the current belle of the ball when it comes to the digital world. It's no surprise that retail giant Walmart is paying attention.
Today Walmart began running Facebook ads promoting a new service it is calling CrowdSaver. The offer: Walmart will give 18 percent off a plasma TV if it gets 5,000 likes. Walmart encourages its fans to rally their friends in order to ensure the deal happens.
The move is a twist on the Groupon model, which offers steep discounts on goods and services if a critical mass of people take up the offer. Nearly all Groupon offers "tip" since the service now has 25 million subscribers worldwide, 15 million of which are in North America.
Sources said CrowdSaver is a test to assess whether the retail giant can develop a foothold in the emerging field of social commerce.
The promotion has proven popular among Walmart's fan base. A post by the company announcing the deal drew more than 5,000 likes and 118 mostly positive comments.
Walmart got a similar response, quickly generating 5,000 likes. Unlike Groupon, Walmart is making the offer not just to participants but also to everyone beginning on Friday.
The program is the work of Walmart digital agency R/GA, part of Interpublic Group.
The agency declined comment on the program. Walmart was unavailable for comment.