Walmart views TikTok as a “discovery opportunity” for shoppers, CEO Doug McMillon said in an interview with CNBC. The retailer tentatively agreed to acquire a 7.5% stake in the social media platform’s U.S. operations in September, which would give it a new way to reach shoppers.
“If you’re watching a TikTok video and somebody’s got a piece of apparel or an item on it that you really like, what if you could just quickly purchase that item?” said McMillon. “That’s what we’re seeing happen in countries around the world. And it’s intriguing to us, and we would like to be part of it.”
The retail giant also is in talks with TikTok owner ByteDance regarding ways to make social commerce easier and more appealing for U.S. shoppers. In particular, McMillon hopes Walmart and ByteDance can work together to speed up shipping of items purchased through the platform.
“If you click on that garment that you want to buy and it takes two weeks to get there, that’s not a very good experience,” said McMillon. “So how could we help with a supply chain, a backend that makes the whole experience terrific, not just the moment that you buy the item.”
The deal for both Walmart’s 7.5% stake and Oracle’s 12.5% stake in TikTok is awaiting U.S. government approval.