How Livestreaming and Facial Recognition Fit Into Walmart's Holiday Plans

Retailer touts new omnichannel offerings to help get brands in front of shoppers
Walmart Joy. Fully. campaign
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

Walmart, the country's biggest retailer, wants to be omnipresent in omnichannel this holiday season. 

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer recently offered a look at its multiple moves to stay top of mind for consumers heading into the holidays and meet them wherever they're looking for holiday inspiration—on Pinterest, through livestream shopping events and in-store, for example. 

Kara Rousseau, VP of marketing for the company's Walmart Connect media business, said Walmart's expanded ominichannel capabilities and investments in "content-to-commerce"—shoppable videos, ads, recipes and more—are helping suppliers more effectively reach consumers and drive sales. "Finding customers where they are continues to evolve, especially since the last two years have triggered dramatic changes to shopper behaviors," she wrote in a Walmart blog post detailing the retailer's new "Joy. Fully." holiday campaign. "Over the last year," she continued, "Walmart has successfully tested different forms of content-to-commerce to give customers new ways to engage with our brand and shorten the distance from inspiration to purchase."

See also: Walmart Details 'Black Friday Deals for Days' Events

What that looks like in practice is, for instance, a large-scale launch of shoppable recipes on Pinterest with suppliers including General Mills, Kraft and PepsiCo. Users can add any or all ingredients in a given recipe to a Walmart cart and purchase the items within a few clicks; Walmart also is seizing on the power of search to show up in Pinterest users' seasonally driven hunts for terms such as "easy bite-size desserts." Two-thirds of Walmart shoppers said they plan to cook more meals from scratch this holiday season, the company found.

Rousseau also announced that Walmart has partnered with Facebook to debut a "first-to-market AR [augmented reality] lens retail experience"—an online offering that will read customers' facial expressions as they are shown a variety of gift ideas from brands such as Google, Nintendo and The Lego Group and then direct users to the Walmart Gift Finder experience, where they can purchase the items that were shown to "spark joy" for them. 

The offering will "make the holiday research and shopping experience fun again by combining the best of facial-recognition AR with Walmart’s unbeatable product assortment," Rousseau wrote.

Walmart's Joy. Fully. campaign looks to help customers "lean into the things they missed last year and celebrate being fully present this holiday," she noted.

At least, when they're not shopping on TikTok.



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