Mobile Commerce to Play Key Role in Wal-Mart’s 2012 Retail Efforts

Wal-Mart is gearing up for a major mobile commerce push in 2012. That much is evident Thursday as news comes of the latest acquisition by the juggernaut name in bricks-and-mortar and online retail.

WalmartLabs, the upstart social and mobile product incubator at Wal-Mart, has acquired a company called Small Society.

A mobile-centric firm, Small Society is responsible for numerous highly iPhone applications for leading brands like Starbucks, Zipcar and Whole Foods.

While the terms of the deal weren’t initially made public, the outcome of the deal should soon be clear to Wal-Mart customers. Without a doubt, the mobile shopping experience will be getting a definitive boost in some fashion.

“We believe that mobile can have an impact on every part of the shopping experience for Walmart customers, whether in-store or online,” WalmartLabs chief Anand Rajaraman said. “We’re very excited to have such talented new team members to help us make that impact.”

Other 2011 WalmartLabs’ acquisitions included social ad network One Riot and mobile point-of-sale startup Gabble.