Walmart Is Turning Twitter Into QVC

Walmart Is Turning Twitter Into QVC
Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP, Getty Images

This holiday season, Twitter has decided it wants in on shopping, so it’s partnering with one of the biggest retailers around: Walmart. The retailer is turning the social media platform into its own version of QVC for one day only this weekend, just in time to kick-off the Cyber Monday fever.

On Monday, the retail giant announced that it would be hosting a 30-min variety show with singer Jason Derulo on Twitter on Sunday. The event, which will include “surprise special guests,” will be the first-ever shopping livestream hosted on Twitter, with Derulo featuring electronics, home goods, apparel, and seasonal decorations. Viewers will be able to purchase the items mentioned in the livestream through a shop tab and continue to watch the show while they check out on Twitter’s in-app browser.

Walmart’s live shopping stream will begin at 11 p.m. AEDT on Nov. 29 and can be accessed on iOS and desktop. To tune in, users must go to Walmart’s Twitter profile page. It wasn’t clear whether this new feature would be available on Android, so we’ve reached out to Twitter to clarify. We’ll make sure to update this blog if we hear back.

In addition, the company said customers will also be able to tune in and shop on its website, YouTube, and Facebook.

William White, the chief marketing officer at Walmart U.S., said Twitter was a platform where the retailer consistently saw “high return across top- and middle-of-funnel content.” Thus, hosting a shopping livestream on Twitter was a “natural next step.”

“Discovery and inspiration can happen anywhere, and we want to make sure we are meeting our customers where they are,” White said in a news release. “We will continue to curate special experiences for our customers who live in dynamic, immersive environments and allow customers to shop seamlessly while also being entertained.”

Twitter told TechCrunch that it won’t take a cut of the e-commerce sales generated through the shopping livestreams, an interesting move which could encourage other brands to try out the new feature. The social media platform noted that brands didn’t have to pay to host a shopping livestream, either.

Walmart isn’t limiting its livestream shopping events to Twitter, though. White pointed out that the company is planning on hosting more than 30 shoppable livestream events during the holidays across eight social and media platforms, including BuyWith, BuzzFeed, Facebook, IGN, TalkShopLive, Tasty, and YouTube.

Shopping livestreams likely aren’t the only new feature you’ll likely see on Twitter this holiday season. The social media platform said it was planning on launching its new shop module, which allows businesses to sell featured items on their Twitter profiles, to more merchants in the coming weeks.

Pretty soon, you won’t be able to escape shopping prompts anywhere on the internet. One thing is sure: You should protect your wallet.