A line is forming outside the 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 distance themselves.
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TikTok is venturing into live streaming events for sale starting with a Walmart partnership this week.
The retailer announced that it will hold a one-hour live stream on TikTok on Friday, where users can shop for Walmart fashion items from TikTok makers without leaving the app. Once the event is over, users can still purchase the items on display by visiting Walmart’s TikTok page to shop.
It is the first time that TikTok has hosted a live stream that can be purchased 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 – with the help of fashion-loving TikTok makers – to the platform,” said William White, chief marketing officer at Walmart, in a statement. . It is unclear whether there will be a revenue share on the sales through the app. A Walmart spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tech giants and social media companies have invested heavily to make their platforms more store-friendly. Last year, Amazon launched Amazon Live, where hosts talk about and demonstrate products sold on Amazon. Google’s R&D launched Shoploop, and Facebook has made shopping more prominent on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
But shoppable live streams, similar to QVC, are struggling to get off the ground in the US, despite their strong popularity in Asia. Walmart and TikTok’s shopping test this week indicates that they see opportunity and momentum in the space and want to make a mark early on.
TikTok had already made its way into the ecommerce space. The app started testing new social trading features last year by allowing some users to 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 direct users to merchandise.
By partnering with Walmart, both companies can boost their ecommerce operations, while giving the physical giant an edge over TikTok’s young user base. Walmart, in talks to partially acquire some of TikTok’s business, had indicated it wanted to bring shopping 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 buy that item quickly?” Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, told CNBC in October. “That’s what we see happening in countries around the world. And it intrigues us, and we would like to be a part of it.”
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