Walmart is bringing livestream purchases to TikTok on Friday
A line forms outside of Walmart in Quincy, MA on April 4, 2020 as the store implements new capacity restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. People wait outside with masks and aloof.
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TikTok ventures into shoppable livestream events starting with a Walmart partnership this week.
The retailer announced that it will host a one-hour livestream on TikTok on Friday that will allow users to purchase Walmart fashion items from TikTok developers without leaving the app. Once the event ends, users can continue to shop for the items on the Walmart TikTok page.
It’s the first time TikTok has hosted a live shoppable stream in the US
“It gives us a new way to connect with users and reach potential new customers, while bringing our own brand of fun to the platform with the help of fashion-loving TikTok developers,” said William White, Chief Marketing Officer from Walmart, in a statement. It is unclear whether there will be any revenue share in the sales made through the app. A Walmart spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Technology giants and social media companies have invested heavily in making their platforms easier to shop. Last year, Amazon launched Amazon Live, where hosts talk about and demonstrate products sold on Amazon. Google’s research and development department started Shoploop, and Facebook made shopping more popular on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
But shoppable live streams, much like QVC, are struggling to launch in the US despite their heavy popularity in Asia. The shopping test run by Walmart and TikTok this week shows that they see opportunities and impulses in the room and want to set an example early on.
TikTok had already found its way into the e-commerce space. The app started testing new social commerce features over the past year by letting some users add links to their profiles and videos. Retail giant Levi’s was one of the first retail brands to use TikTok’s new “Shop Now” feature to alert users to goods.
The collaboration has enabled both Walmart and TikTok to improve their e-commerce activities and give the stationary giant an advantage over TikTok’s young user base. Walmart, who had held talks to partially take over part of TikTok’s activities, had indicated that it wanted to bring purchases to the platform.
“If you’re watching a TikTok video and someone has a piece of clothing or an item on it that you really like, what if you could just and quickly purchase that item?” Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, said on CNBC in October. “That is what we see in countries all over the world. And it fascinates us and we want to be part of it.”
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