As the pandemic continues to keep brands and buyers apart, meeting the consumer where they are becomes increasingly important.
As one of the earliest adopters of TikTok, Walmart demonstrates how it turns trends into triumphs, all while building its image as an inclusive, versatile, and approachable brand that finally nabbed the number one spot in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box, beating out both Amazon and Target. The retailer debuted on the platform back in October of 2019, even before the pandemic hit in the United States. Since then, its videos have undergone a serious evolution. It went from posting comedic, slightly awkward videos that prompted commenters to remark “Who gave Walmart TikTok?” to posting videos that feed the platform’s curiosity for niche products, like Chic-fil-A sauce, speak to matters of social responsibility, and work with a slew of buzzy influencers like Nabela Noor and Ellie Zeiler. Now, the retailer boasts over 700,000 followers and has diversified its strategy with of-the-moment shopping livestreams focused on fashion and beauty, along with its own branded songs similar to TikTok success story e.l.f. Cosmetics. Finally, the brand has also encouraged employees to post on the platform in exchange for monetary rewards.
While jumping on trends early and answering the consumer cry for hot topics and hot products, especially those in the beauty or fashion categories, are definitely excellent ways to connect with the TikTok audience, staying true to its brand and offering transparency add a new level of authenticity for Walmart that has resonated with viewers and allows them to “understand how (Walmart) fits into their lives.“, instead of the other way around.
Now, more than ever, content commerce and bridging the gap between consumers and companies is crucial to remain relevant. Brands looking to shed their boomer or millennial image in particular should should look to Walmart for a playbook on how to make nice with one of the toughest consumer crowds around: Gen Z.