As expected, TikTok has started a redesign: run a double play where it can capture value through video shopping in the Walmart ecosystem. This is the huge element of why this company has a promise in America. This is double play at its best: run the videos and capture via vcommerce (video commerce).
Walmart and TikTok announced this morning they will be partnering on the first pilot test of a new shoppable product experience on TikTok’s social video app. Walmart, as you may recall, had planned to invest in TikTok when the app was being threatened with a ban from the U.S. market unless it sold its U.S. operations to an American company, per a Trump administration executive order — a ban that’s now on pause after multiple legal challenges. Walmart’s interest in TikTok, however, has not waned. The retailer, though seemingly an odd fit for a social network, had seen the potential to attract a younger online consumer through video and, in particular, livestreamed video.
During a Walmart livestream, TikTok users will be able to shop from Walmart’s fashion items without having to leave the TikTok app, in a pilot of TikTok’s new “shoppable product.” The fashion items themselves will be featured in content from 10 TikTok creators, led by host Michael Le, whose TikTok dances have earned him 43+ million fans. Other creators will be more up-and-coming stars, like Devan Anderson, Taylor Hage and Zahra Hashimee.
I explained in the duality element that digital products which thrive are typically both products and platforms. It would be hopeless to build modern digital products without having a moat through platforms. Interestingly, the greatest digital ICT utilities have double plays in their business models: if Amazon decimates many brick-and-mortar stores, it would welcome many online to sell them cloud services. Alibaba welcomes you to its marketplace platforms, and you certainly have signed up for its (partly affiliated) payment processing solutions (Alipay) which command commissions.
Tiktok thinks it has a great future in video commerce, and that is amazing. The promising outlook is that it would capture a lot of values by making it possible for people to buy and sell in its ecosystems. Now, you can see why TikTok could be an orthogonal threat, not just to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, but ecommerce companies. If you want to buy lipsticks, would you prefer Amazon or TikTok? I will vote for TikTok vcommerce, running on Walmart supply chain!
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