Walmart has been developing its ad platform to compete with Amazon, which also has invested in live shopping programs on its website. Amazon also has a creator program that allows its roster of talent to stream sales events, which are most prominent during holidays and Prime Day.
Social media companies, especially TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Snap, Pinterest and Twitter, have been trying to capture more commerce. But social commerce has been progressing slowly and there have been setbacks with how far the platforms can go to accommodate online shopping. For instance, TikTok’s livestream shopping program has reportedly been mothballed after having trouble catching on in the UK Facebook is pulling the plug on live shopping next month.
The platforms still consider themselves important players in product discovery, and Walmart’s new partnership with TikTok and Snap shows that they are trying to prove that ads viewed on their apps do lead to sales.
“That’s why we’ve been able to partner with them, because of that interest,” Dallaire said, “in a media environment where there’s more and more emphasis on attribution, and understanding the return on those media investments.”
The partner program, so far, is a very hands-on offering, where the brands get custom reporting about their campaigns, based on activations on Walmart.com’s live shopping, TikTok, Snap and Roku. Dallaire, however, could see the program expanding to the point where it would be more automated and widely available within Walmart Connect, so brands could better target ads on social media and connected TV, and measure those outcomes.
Walmart already has a close partnership with Roku. At Cannes this summer, Walmart and Roku discussed their new “shoppable ad” deal that lets viewers buy products featured in commercials on the streaming TV platform.