With this partnership, Walmart would provide shoppable, streamed content throughout its online environments. TalkShopLive–which itself has partnerships with brands, creators, and publishing hubs like Meredith and Condé Nast–will also be available via Walmart’s commerce API.
What Exactly is Live Shopping?
For those of you who have heard of live shopping but haven’t officially dug into it, think of it as QVC plus a little Instagram Live plus a dash of HQ. A live, online, interactive event hosted by a brand-aligned influencer, expert, or celebrity designed to:
- Engage with consumers (awareness/consideration)
- Move product (conversions)
- Create lasting relationships (lifetime value)
Brands will often partner with a live shopping platform to help with planning, setting up, and accessing the tech required to execute. A seamless integration of all the above, as one would expect, is difficult to pull off. It combines aspects of social media, influencer, event planning, omni-channel commerce, consumer research, and beyond. This brings us to the need of a consolidated solution that helps pull it all off.
Walmart’s Interest in Social Commerce as a Whole
Everyone has been pushing social commerce as the future of commerce. It’s an accelerating space, with global sales reaching nearly $500 billion this past year, and expected to reach $1.2 trillion in 2025. It also encapsulates a few paths including shoppable social, influencer commerce, and live shopping. And when talking social commerce in relation to retail, Walmart is one of the names at the forefront.
Their interest in Live Shopping has been well-documented. They’ve been a pioneering brand in the space. Beyond the recently announced partnership with TalkShopLive, they’ve also curated live streaming events on TikTok, YouTube and most recently Twitter.
Walmart’s Live Shopping Efforts to Date
One of Walmart’s more recent forays into live streaming commerce was on the eve of Cyber Monday. They compiled a half-hour variety show hosted by Jason Derulo filmed at his L.A. home. The event promoted multiple products and offers leading into the heavy-up of the holiday season. Beyond that, Walmart also planned to host dozens of additional events during the holiday season across several platforms and publishers, including TalkShopLive.
The reason behind the big push on Walmart’s end is two-fold: Act as an early adopter within a growing space and connect with the younger audience that inhabits it.
Short vs. Long-Form
It’s a funny thing. Younger audiences (non-Geriatric Millenials, Gen Z) have been stereotyped as lacking attention spans. It seems each generation has less and less patience in compounding fashion. Gen Z carries this stigma, having grown up in a world defined by everything all at once. They’ve listened to music, consumed video, and accessed information on-demand for the vast majority of their lives. Most have never experienced the mortal struggles associated with dual cassette players, VHS recordings, or even researching something at the library.
They’re honed-in on what they prefer, and what they prefer is shorter-form content. Within online video, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are two of the newer offerings from tech platforms designed to lure in Gen Z. This effort capitalizes on the ever-growing need for ever-shortening content.
Live Shopping’s Allure
Despite the younger generation’s goldfish-esque attention spans (a debunked theory, but great reference), the data still points to Live Shopping (which is long-form) being the next big thing for this subset. Live Shopping’s ability to blend–as noted–social, omni-channel, influencer and more into a neat, little package is part of the appeal. It’s also incredibly engaging for the right audience.
Solving the attention span issue specifically is pacing and interactivity. Keeping audiences engaged and keeping the content moving is where Live Shopping events shine. A golf equipment company, for example, can set up an event where a personality from the sport hosts, provides tips, engages with audience members, conducts relevant polls, etc. all while selling product (a line of putters) designed to fix the holes (no pun intended) in each attendee’s golf game.
Today’s teen spends much more time (56 percent of it) focused on user-generated content (UGC) than consumers aged 55 plus (only 22 percent of it). The data says they’d rather access UGC than sit through a studio-produced effort. Live shopping does its best to straddle this line. It’s a produced, polished effort hosted by a UGC-focused influencer. It gives the younger generation what they want in a format that older generations (relative term, of course) might find palatable as well.
Who Should Line Up for Live Shopping
Walmart and Amazon are just two examples of brands (retailers, specifically) diving head-first into the social commerce space. Being an early adopter in the space is a win for them, as well as the brands that sell on their marketplaces.
For any brand hoping to tap into these younger cohorts, Live Shopping should be a tactic that’s heavily considered. There are certain brands whose products lend themselves to this format (live selling, impulse-friendly, etc.) better than others, but the sooner a brand can get acclimated with this tactic (and its nuances) the better.