Daily Insights

Walmart Walks the Digital Runway

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jan 11, 2021

Walmart tries on a new marketing style by partnering with TikTok to sell its apparel. Through the collaboration, Walmart becomes the first big box retailer to host a shoppable livestream on the popular platform. 

Following in the footsteps of Aldo and e.l.f Cosmetics, Walmart takes its e-commerce abilities to TikTok, where users can now purchase any of its promoted products. TikTok users can also follow the link from Walmart’s channel to its website, where they can peruse a larger array of apparel, accessories, and shoes. To kick off the collaboration, Walmart hosted a shoppable livestream event on December 18, where content creators and influencers were tapped to “model” Walmart fashion items. The brand tapped fashion and dance influencers who could choose how to style their livestream videos, including by giving “closet tours” to viewers or strutting down makeshift runways. The hour-long fashion show allowed Walmart to introduce itself to TikTok’s large user base and align itself and its items with some of the platform’s most followed users. Doing so could help the retailer build up its own large following on the platform and set the stage for future fashion events. Given Walmart’s bid earlier this year to purchase TikTok, many users may already be familiar with its presence, but the fashion campaign could help keep it top of mind in a new way.

In addition to extending its social media presence this year, Walmart has also leaned into its fashion offerings, including with the launch of its sustainable clothing line, Free Assembly. With e-commerce shopping rates continuing to soar—particularly during the holiday shopping season—Walmart’s social media shopping focus could help it tap into the trend and connect with a larger audience of consumers according to a Gartner report. The brand’s affordable prices could also appeal to many of TikTok’s younger, socially and budget conscious consumers whose reliance on online shopping has grown during the Coronavirus pandemic. Working with TikTok could also help Walmart build up its presence as an innovative retailer, allowing it to go head to head against e-commerce native brands or steady competitors like Target, which has turned to Instagram to promote its shopping capabilities this year. The rise of e-commerce opportunities on Reels and Snapchat, means that—if successful on TikTok—Walmart could also try its hand at selling clothes across social media sites in the future. 

Walmart’s shoppable stream could help the brand stay relevant with young consumers on TikTok and beyond. By offering a new way to shop from home, the big box retailer could boost its e-commerce presence and grow a following for future fashion-forward features.