Retail giant Walmart is starting promotional livestreaming on TikTok this Friday, a “first of its kind” in the US, according to the retailer’s website. During the show, viewers can buy brands such as Champion, Jordache, Kendall + Kylie, Free Assembly, Scoop, and Sofia Jeans, said chief marketing officer William White.
The company has hired 10 TikTok creators, who featured Walmart products in their short videos before. Among them is Michael Le, one of the platform’s most followed users with nearly 43 million followers, who will present a variety show, called the Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular. The creators will reveal their favorite Walmart fashion finds in a very personal way, which could be an inside look at their closets, a living room runway show or a fashion-forward dance-off.
“It gives us a new way to engage with users and reach potential new customers, while bringing our own brand of fun to the platform,” said White.
While livestreaming e-commerce is still something novel in the west, it is already very common on TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin, as well as rival Kuaishou, and e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba’s Taobao and Pinduoduo.
TikTok-owner ByteDance revealed that total gross merchandise volume on Douyin reached RMB 18.7 billion (USD 2.8 billion) between October 25 and November 11, during China’s Singles’ Day shopping festival, KrASIA reported. More than 100 livestreaming studios reaped RMB 10 million (USD 1.5 million) in a single session during the event while more than 1,383 studios collected RMB 1 million.
Walmart’s maiden livestreaming on TikTok comes after the retail giant announced in September that it intended to purchase 7.5% of TikTok Global, a new, separate company catering to TikTok users in the US and other countries outside China, created under pressure of the US administration. The retailer planned to enter into commercial agreements with the new firm to provide e-commerce fulfillment, payments, and other omnichannel services.
Online shopping was gaining momentum in the US this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In its third quarter earnings report, Walmart said that customers were sending its domestic e-commerce sales soaring by 79%, according to CNBC.