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12/17/2020

Walmart to debut livestream shopping on TikTok in U.S.

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart is moving ahead with e-commerce on the TikTok short video platform in a big way.

The discount giant will run a shoppable livestream Friday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. EST on its profile page on TikTok. Ten TikTok creators will participate in the one-hour event, called the “Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular,” revealing their favorite fashion products available at Walmart. Viewers will be able to tap on a product when they see a fashion item they like during the event, add it to their cart and check out.

Walmart and TikTok are partnering on this event in the wake of a federal judge denying the U.S. Commerce Department’s request to ban the social media network in the U.S. over concerns of its Chinese parent company ByteDance having ties to the Chinese Communist Party. The U.S. government had been seeking a ban on TikTok’s U.S. operations since September 2020.

North American companies have been actively pursuing deals with TikTok during the past several months, despite the uncertain status of a possible ban. Canada-based e-commerce platform Shopify began enabling retailers selling on its platform to deploy in-feed TikTok shoppable video ads directly within its site in October.

And Walmart and Oracle have been pursuing a potential joint 20% acquisition of a new business that would be called TikTok Global and feature Walmart as an exclusive e-commerce partner. According to Walmart, TikTok is its fastest-growing social platform.

“It gives us a new way to engage with users and reach potential new customers, while bringing our own brand of fun – with the help of fashion-loving TikTok creators – to the platform,” said William White, chief marketing officer, Walmart U.S., in a corporate blog post. “We’re excited to engage with TikTok on this new experience and learn what’s possible for shopping on a platform that brings its community so much joy. We can’t wait to see what we learn. And we can’t wait to see what you like, comment on, share – and shop – from the show.”