Walmart returns to TikTok for beauty-focused shoppable livestream

March 10, 2021 retail dive

  • Walmart is planning its second shoppable livestream on social video app TikTok, this time to showcase beauty products. The retail chain's "Spring Shop-Along: Beauty Edition" will let viewers order products directly from Walmart's TikTok channel starting at 9 p.m. ET on March 11, per a company blog post.

  • L'Oréal's Maybelline and NYX Cosmetics brands, Bliss, The Lip Bar, Kim Kimble and Marc Jacobs fragrances will be among those demonstrated by creators during the 60-minute interactive tutorial. Creators including Gabby Morrison, who has 3.5 million followers on TikTok, will demonstrate their favorite beauty products from Walmart as they share their skincare, makeup and hair routines and offer tutorials on popular trends.

  • The livestream will let viewers tap on a product pin to put the item in a virtual shopping cart for immediate purchase or for after the event. Walmart's first shopping event on TikTok outperformed expectations, per the blog, spurring the retailer's return to the platform.

BANKING DIVE Be the smartest banking leader in the roomJoin the thousands of banking leaders who read Banking Dive's Daily Dive to stay on the pulse of the latest banking news and what it means for the industry. Get the Free Newsletter Dive Insight: Walmart's second livestreamed shopping event on TikTok comes a few months after the retail chain mixed content and commerce for its "Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular" on the social video app in December. Walmart experienced seven times as many views as it had expected, and boosted its TikTok following by 25%, per data in its blog post.

Walmart currently has over 622,000 followers on TikTok as of press time, making its collaborations with popular creators like Gabby Morrison a key part of extending its reach among a wider audience. The results and return to the platform demonstrate why Walmart was working with Oracle to acquire TikTok's U.S. operations, a bid that is on indefinite hold as the Biden administration may approach Chinese tech firms differently than the previous administration, which had been looking to force U.S. investment. The shoppable livestream on TikTok is another sign of how the digital media industry is becoming more transactional as brands place a greater priority on business outcomes for their campaigns. As brands seek a way to lift sales while fostering direct relationships with customers, livestreams have emerged as a growing marketing channel. The strong growth in e-commerce had led Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Snap to add more shopping functions to their platforms in the past few years, and the pandemic has accelerated that shift to online buying.

With many shoppers avoiding stores during the pandemic, e-commerce has become even more vital to Walmart's sales growth. Its U.S. e-commerce sales grew 35% from a year earlier in the fourth quarter, helping to drive a 2.1% gain in revenue to $141.7 billion during a period that included the holiday shopping season, per its quarterly report. Amid the growth in e-commerce, the retailer launched its long-anticipated subscription membership program Walmart+ in the fall to compete more directly with Amazon. TikTok is rapidly emerging as a popular influencer marketing platform, with 45% of marketers saying they used the social video app in influencer campaigns last year, up from a negligible amount in 2019, according to a global survey by influencer marketing firm Upfluence. TikTok's growing popularity is eating into Facebook's Instagram, whose utilization in influencer campaigns fell to 68% from 80% a year earlier. Meanwhile, Facebook utilization fell to 43% from 46% and Twitter declined to 15% from 22%.

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