Walmart, TalkShopLive add some holiday cheer to live commerce

The news: Retailers are embracing livestream commerce this holiday season.

  • Walmart is teaming up with NBCUniversal’s E! Online for a half-hour holiday-themed live shopping experience on December 8, per Ad Age.
  • QVC and HSN have both launched on Pluto TV as the shopping season gets into full swing.
  • And in a new twist on window shopping, select store windows in New York City will display live commerce events from TalkShopLive, which consumers can shop via QR code.

Zoom out: Livestream commerce has the potential to be a highly lucrative retail channel, given its ability to drive sales and product discovery. But, for all its success in China and the longevity of HSN and QVC, US shoppers have not been particularly enthusiastic about tuning into a livestream and dropping cash.

  • Some of its slow adoption could be attributed to the lack of awareness around the existence of live shopping events, as well as the difficulties involved in getting people to watch the stream at the exact moment it’s happening.
  • Walmart and TalkShopLive hope to overcome those hurdles by positioning live shopping as a form of entertainment, and recruiting well-known figures like E! News’ hosts—or, in the latter’s case, Gloria Estefan—to attract viewers.
  • But it’ll be an uphill battle: 43% of US adults have neither engaged in livestream commerce nor are interested in doing so, per an October survey by Bizrate Insights for Insider Intelligence.

The big takeaway: It’s no surprise that Walmart is continuing to invest in livestream commerce, given the tantalizing prospect of growing ecommerce sales and challenging Amazon’s dominance. But on the whole, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence Jasmine Enberg says, brands and retailers can “leave live commerce for last” and focus on initiatives more likely to drive sales.

Go further: For more insights on live commerce and social commerce, read our Social Commerce Forecast 2022.

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast