Thursday, December 1 2022

Just as the busy fourth quarter seasonal retail rush is about to kick off, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar operator has made a major push to bolster its digital connectivity through a “test and learn” expansion. into five parts of its social commerce platform.

It’s a move that not only marks the continuation of a shift that began for Walmart more than a year ago, but is also the latest example of creeping change happening among the biggest players in the industry. industry, all of which seek to build a seamless highway between high-traffic social media and high-inventory brick-and-mortar stores.

“It’s not just home shopping 2.0. In fact, it redefines shopping and provides an online shopping experience worth talking about,” said Bryan Moore, co-founder and CEO of TalkShopLive – one of five innovation partners chosen by Walmart – in an interview with PYMNTS.

Whether it’s TalkShopLive, TikTok, Snapchat, Firework or Roku, this transition to social media is deeply rooted in connectivity and experiences that engage consumers, inspire them to be part of something bigger and ultimately drive purchases – either online now or later in-store after digital inspiration.

“When we’re in times like this, one of the great powers that live shopping has to offer is that in addition to buying the product, you’re providing an experience,” Moore said, not only in highlighting the tough economy and consumer climate, but also highlighting the “Oprah Book Club-like” moments that turned a basic purchase into something entirely more interesting and fun.

“When Walmart’s brands engage in trade shows, they create these dynamic brand experiences,” he added, noting his company’s in-vehicle, transportable shopping platform that allows brands to sell wherever. they want and not to force buyers to log in to become buyers.

The tip of the iceberg

According to data from PYMNTS, as well as Walmart’s own research and findings, social commerce is expected to grow from 10% of its digital sales to 17% of e-commerce by 2025, to the hands – and thumbs – of Gen Z. and millennial consumers, which Walmart said represents nearly two-thirds of the world’s 2 billion social media users.

“For us, social commerce is about driving customer engagement and shortening the distance between inspiration and purchase by removing friction from the checkout experience,” said Molly Blakeman, senior director of communications at Walmart in an email to PYMNTS.

While calling social media adoption a fundamental part of the retail giant’s marketing strategy, Blakeman told PYMNTS that going digital is also about boosting customer engagement and closing the distance between customers. inspiration and purchase by removing friction from the checkout experience.

“We’ve been focused on creating social commerce experiences that resonate with our customers,” she added, “[and] we continue to test, pilot and optimize new ways to reach our customers and help them save time, save money and make their lives a little better.

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