Walmart’s livestream buying occasion on TikTok is newest signal its rivalry with Amazon is heating up

TikTok is the hottest social media platform for video creation right now, and Walmart knows it.

The big box retailer debuted on December 18 with a livestream shopping event on TikTok, a US premiere for the popular platform and Walmart’s latest move in a rivalry with Amazon that has intensified this year.

Branded as the “Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular,” TikTok users could shop Walmart’s fashion items without leaving the platform. The hour-long shopping event was hosted by 10 TikTok developers who unveiled various fashion items to viewers that could then be purchased at Walmart with a tap of a finger.

TikTok live streams will disappear once they finish. So it’s unclear how many people they put on the Friday night show. However, video clips posted on Twitter show that at least 13,000 users are watching at the same time.

“It gives us a new way to connect with users and reach potential new customers, while bringing our own brand of fun to the platform with the help of fashion-loving TikTok developers,” said William White, Chief Marketing Officer from Walmart, in a statement.

The TikTok livestream is one of several innovative strategies that Walmart launched this year to further compete with Amazon, the online retail giant that has been livestreaming purchases since 2019.

Walmart recently launched its subscription shopping service Walmart + in September. It’s similar to Amazon’s popular Prime membership package. The benefits include free, unlimited delivery. Savings on gas; and access to the “Scan & Go” function in the Walmart app.

Walmart + is $ 12.95 per month or $ 98 per year and includes a 15-day free trial. It’s a little cheaper than Amazon’s Prime membership package, which costs $ 12.99 per month or $ 119 per year.

Walmart recently removed the $ 35 minimum order requirement for Walmart + members to qualify for free shipping. That means Walmart + members will now get free next-day and second-day shipping, regardless of the total number of carts.

The entire online shopping industry exploded in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic as stores were temporarily and permanently closed and people spent more time at home. Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce sales rose 79% in the third quarter compared to 2019, and the company took advantage of a virtual Black Friday to make it a month-long event in November.

Big box retailers will most likely continue to see spikes in online sales for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic.

However, Walmart has yet to announce if or when another TikTok livestream shopping event will take place. In the meantime, you can buy the live stream from Amazon, which is broadcast online daily.

Among the recently introduced products:

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Nicolette Accardi can be reached at naccardi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter: @N_Accardi. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Do you have a tip? Tell us nj.com/tips

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