The Bazaarvoice social commerce news bulletin is a monthly roundup of the best and most exciting social media news and technology we’ve seen — what’s trending in the social commerce sphere, what new themes we’re seeing from brands and retailers, new social commerce technology, what the cool kids are doing, etc.
There’ll be plenty of linked articles, impressive stats, fun new things to digest, and you may even spot your own brand in there. 👀
(Psst — if you’re new to social commerce, you can catch up here)
We’ll be updating this every month so make sure you don’t miss out, because social moves quick. Feel free to jump to your desired month, otherwise let’s dive right in.
July social commerce news
Barbenheimer — which now has an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the Internet meme –—took July by storm. The marketing strategies worked. The movies have grossed over $1 billion globally so far, and I’m over here watching everything unfold on social commerce.
X marks the spot
Elon Musk has been makin my job easy as a social commerce news reporter:
- As everyone knows (unless you’ve not opened a phone or computer for a month) that Twitter has been rebranded as X.
- The Twitter acquisition has seen a mass exodus of Gen Zers, to LinkedIn of all places!
- Esther Crawford, previous Twitter product manager, weighs in on the future of X
TikTok til you drop
Is anyone giving Kesha credit for coining the name of this app!?
- A new format is launching on TikTok! An entire post can just be text, and the posts look incredibly similar to Instagram stories
- Amazon promoted Prime Day on TikTok with an interactive “Duel for Deals” game show. Alix Earle joined in on the fun, which is a smart move by Amazon considering Gen Z girls would buy a toilet plunger if she promoted it
- Music usage has been a major debate on the app, but don’t you fret — TikTok has recently gained licensing to Warner Music’s entire music library
- Benefit, the makeup brand, launched their new mascara solely on TikTok for 2 days. They also went live on TikTok Shop for 48 hours
AI + Gen Z = match made in heaven?
Let’s just say these two are like Aperol and prosecco – summer’s hottest duo:
- PSA to all musicians, actresses, and artists, over 40% of Gen Z thinks AI music, movies, and art will replace human-made content in 20 years. And this viral AI Drake song may prove that stat
- ChatGPT experienced some technical difficulties this month, which meant people actually had to write something original for once. Students didn’t love that!
- Instagram is dipping their toes in AI
Let’s get sporty!
Or just sit on the couch and watch others run around:
- Join in on celebrating the FIFA Women’s World Cup on TikTok and Snapchat
- Nike gets in on the FIFA fun with “What the Football,” a video promoting past and present women’s soccer legends
- Heineken taps F1 driver, Max Verstappen, to promote their alcohol-free drinks and responsible driving
Wimbledon shakes up the fashion world
- At arguably the most watched, prestigious, and fashionable tennis tournament of the year, a custom Gucci bag appeared on the arm of the italian youngster, Jannik Sinner. Talk about a smart, free marketing campaign for Gucci, considering 54.3 million people streamed the tournament
Microsoft Teams will be adding the new Maybelline Beauty app, which allows Teams users to choose between 12 different AI-powered beauty filters for video calls!
June social commerce news
School’s out and the sun is shining. We observed many important dates (Happy Pride and Happy Juneteenth to name a few!) and we survived the longest day of the year.
We may or may not see the cage match between Zuckerberg and Musk, but their apps, Twitter and the new Threads, will surely be brawling it out for months to come. And if you’re a brand looking to get started on Threads, this article can help.
Put on your thinking app on
I just can’t keep up with the updates:
- Australia is fed up with Twitter, saying it’s the top platform for hate. Maybe that’s why so many brands are taking social media breaks
- Instagram users can now download publicly posted Reels
- People have opinions on LinkedIn’s new Generative AI post prompts, and the concerns are fair. As a platform meant to display your professional competencies, it may have just gotten easier to pretend you’re a bit more qualified than you are
A recession? Brands don’t think so
If people keep buying, brands will just keep innovating and creating:
- Bond, a new shopping platform, is creator-focused rather than product-led. Finally someone might be getting the livestream shopping experience right!
- Sephora changed the beauty industry forever and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to leave that store without spending money
- Ritual and Poppi, CPG startups, are testing out CTV campaigns to hopefully target younger audiences
- Speaking of drinks, Slurpee just went through a major brand refresh
EMEA weighs in
Just some brands having a little bit of fun:
- Dash water pokes fun at Prince Harry to promote their new lime flavor
- Asics EMEA created a poem in celebration of #WorldRunningDay, which coincides with their new slogan “Nothing Feels Better.” However, I can definitely think of a few things better than running. Laying on the couch, maybe?
Lastly, check out Agency Cliquish, a full-service management agency founded exclusively to support and champion Black digital creators. Over Juneteenth weekend, Taylar Barrington-Booker, the founder, officially unveiled her agency’s client roster and social channels.
Happy July! Now start Threading!
May social commerce news
When you’re becoming King at noon but you have to take something out of the oven at 11. pic.twitter.com/4kSAhCoSVY— Philip Cowley (@philipjcowley) May 6, 2023
Money & momentum
Platforms are growing and people are pretending a recession isn’t going to make them regret their $2,000 credit card bill:
- LinkedIn has reached 930 million members and Fiverr is capitalizing on this engagement with some hilarious job titles. I’d like to apply to “Someone Who Laughs During the Worst Moments on a Call who also Works in Client Success”
- Let’s all say thanks to YouTube because they raked in the big bucks for the U.S. Economy
- Ubiquitous is paying three people $100/hour for a 10-hour TikTok watching session. Check out these neck braces if you do decide to apply!
- Surprise surprise — consumers are still shopping but, nowadays, with a purchase of a designer bag, people are receiving crippling anxiety and financial distress, too
That hot celebrity gossip
Us Weekly but the cool, younger, techy version:
- Adidas decided what to do with the 1.2 billion worth of unsold Yeezy Merch. I think it’s pretty cool.
- The Kardashians and multiple kitty cats descended upon New York City for the iconic Met Gala. The carpet was live streamed and garnered 53 million views from those of us pretending to be fashion critics for a night
- Beyonce literally doesn’t stop dominating the world and now she’s about to dominate the haircare industry.
Getting out of your comfort zone
Brands and apps are trying something new this month:
- The Italian Tourism ministry just turned an art icon into a virtual influencer. Italians are mad but I honestly love her vibe
- Comments are the new creative brief, so start paying attention to them
- Bytedance is considering entering the book publishing world
- Sweetgreen is testing their Infinite Kitchen technology in none other than the town I grew up in. This is the best thing that’s happened to Naperville moms since they became empty nesters
April social commerce news
What do fannypacks, influencers, and 100° weather have in common?
Coachella! Here’s the brand activations I’d stand in line for:
- Adidas and Bad Bunny designed a new shoe and celebrated him being the first solo Latin artist to headline Coachella, creating a giant pop-up greenhouse covered in more than 50,000 flowers. And if any of the flowers were missing, all security had to do was find the nearest millennial cause they’d surely be wearing a flower crown
- Amex was focused on the young ones, as more than 60% of its new consumer cards in 2022 were issued to millennials and Gen Zers
- Clinique opened Hydration House to coincide with their “Protect your Glow” campaign. Petition to get this in Austin ASAP
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Attempting to give up shopping for a month, but I’ll be appreciating these brands from afar:
- Men’s Warehouse launched Wedding Wingman, a digital concierge service aimed to streamline the wedding outfitting process. I took the quiz and they said I’d look darling in anything
- RE/AE, ThredUp and American Eagle’s online resale shop, hopes to encourage shoppers to buy vintage and secondhand. Head over to Snapchat to virtually browse the storefront
- Poshmark, a leading online marketplace, tries it hand at livestream shopping
- And Coach really is making a comeback with its circular sub-brand, Coachtopia. Bags are made out of recycled and repurposed leather
App-arently some people have opinions
What’s life without some complaining and praising and then complaining again?
- People are not loving the Snapchat AI feature
- Twitter did some good for once and published its recommendation algorithm. Thanks Elon?
- Speaking of Elon — he polled his followers on bringing back Vine or not, and sounds like it’s a possibility. Time to dust off my tiny shades and recreate the dance that altered my life
- And Instagram aims to support in-app shopping by helping brands easily find UGC to share
That’s the end of the social commerce news for April. See you next month!
March social commerce news
Spring has sprung and that means hibernation season is over. March was madness, April is fooling, and you’re finally getting used to the time change. With that, there’s plenty of news from the social commerce world, so let’s get started.
But AI love you
AI is turning heads with what it can do, but it’s probably better to lean into it than fight it. Brands and retailers are certainly betting on the social media shift and it’s been dubbed the latest big tech trend:
- Microsoft brings generative AI to CRM product suite in a new solution, while Meta’s ‘year of efficiency’ brings lofty AI ambitions
- Meanwhile Coke is asking consumers to generate art with new AI platform (sounds like someone in the creative department is working smarter, not harder)
- And probably my favorite thing from this realm this month — Levi’s is testing AI generated models
Digital > virtual > AR
Buzzwords galore. But brands are putting their technical hats on and giving the people what they want:
- Corona launches a virtual clubhouse and store on its site, while Aperol heads to Coachella with a digitally-driven gathering hub. The alcohol companies are on top as usual
- Clinique launches Clinique Lab — a digital environment for customers — and Maybelline enlists its first-ever digital avatar for a mascara launch
- Alo Yoga launches a digital collection in the metaverse
- Toyota and Yahoo are partnering for an AR-powered car shopping experience, Tripadvisor is pairing AR with street murals to promote San Diego, and we’re over the hammy about Denny’s serving up an AR experience with their new menu overhaul
Investing in our youths. 💸
We must focus on the youth for a better tomorrow. But also mainly for the fact that we know over half of Gen Alpha watch shoppable content:
- Estee Lauder launches their new collection, Nutritious, in a bid for Gen Z attention
- We love how Northwestern Mutual and Pinterest have teamed up to give free financial advice to Gen Z — from pinning to planning (and yes, I did take the test that was reminiscent of the better Buzzfeed quiz days)
- Home Depot is taking Kids Workshops to the metaverse on Roblox
Just some interesting things
The headline says it all:
- Unilever found that influencers have the greatest impact on consumer sustainability choices. And Heinz is highlighting soil degradation with Fortnite Island in ongoing environmental protection and sustainability efforts. Great because the Earth could really use a win
- 75% of marketers expect to spend more on TikTok even as the ban looms
- And new social media platform alert! Is this another hit from ByteDance? Lemon8 is rising up the app store charts and is deeming itself a cross between Instagram and Pinterest
- Hard Mountain Dew hosted a ‘Definitely Over 21’ bash at a retirement community
- Duolingo does it again with their new show out soon
That’s all the social commerce news for March. Come back soon!
February social commerce news
February was short but mighty in terms of time, events, and social commerce news. Awards season, Rihanna’s pregnant again, and there was a big football game in there at some point. Which, speaking of, go social commerce!
It was all about the shoppable ads
This month was all about how social media marketing performs against traditional ads:
- Michelob Ultra and Instacart support Super Bowl push with shoppable TV ads, while Priceline hid travel deals in digital ads during the game
- Wendy’s is taking it off the field to be the first to test Roku and Doordash’s deal around shoppable TV ads — soon I’ll only have to blink and I’ll have purchased something right to my doorstep
Virtually possible 🤖
Apparel and beauty have always been innovators so it’s no surprise that these two industries are full steam ahead on technical advancements:
- Alo Yoga unveils a virtual store alongside beauty and workout content and Tatcha also launched a virtual store
- Adore Me is set to host a shoppable, livestream runway show
- Savage x Fenty delves deeper into fitting room tech 😍
TIKTOK CLEAR UP
While it feels like we were just here (three years ago), the big social commerce news this month is the continued negotiations and political efforts aimed at granting the President and administration power to ban TikTok. It’s not currently happening. Only those using government-issued devices have seen a ban imposed, starting February 27th. Either way, brands are keeping on keeping on:
- Behr Paint is connecting with millennial homeowners on TikTok, Chipotle embraces another trend with a new menu item, and a new integration with Mercedes Benz displays content on in-car screens (Please don’t TikTok and drive!)
We know everyone has been ChatGPT-ing also, but that’s barely news by this point — we prefer to stick to the more exciting social commerce news. 🙃
January social commerce news
Austin is without power, storms are everywhere, and Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. But with the Lunar New Year ushering in the Year of the Rabbit, there’s hope for 2023 just yet.
Beauty is in the AI of the beholder
Beauty brands win innovation time and time again:
- Neutrogena and Nourished are using AI to craft customizable 3D printed gummies
- YSL beauty ties Web3 to online shopping experience
- Read how Estée Lauder and Macy’s discuss how data, AI, and TikTok are influencing customer behavior
Pulse on the platform
Keep reading for fun new things to know about tech platforms:
- In-app spending continues to surge in China, pointing to continued opportunity for Western social apps
- Instagram Chief says photos will get more focus in 2023 since they focused too much on video and they’re also removing the Shop tab while TikTok is doubling down
- This is neat — YouTube launches new ‘Study Hall’ initiative which will enable users to earn college credits online
- Blockchain and the metaverse continue to command CMO interest despite snags
Our favorite social commerce news is recapping the cool things brands are up to:
- *whispers into microphone* Sport Clips uses ASMR to drive 15% jump in brand awareness
- Chex Mix is also making noise by remixing ‘Baby Got Back’ for Bagel Chips revival
- Timex enters Web3 with Bored Ape NFT collaboration
- McDonald’s uses an AI powered ad for Lunar New Year
- Welch’s Fruit Snacks ties big game giveaway to QR-code enabled ads
- Drama with M&M’s as “spokescandies” take an indefinite pause amid polarizing rebrand. A&W address M&M mascot’s ‘polarizing’ lack of pants in a riff on the uproar
- And David’s Bridal launches wedding planning platform with a vendor marketplace
Both Chipotle and Martha have been busy this month:
- Chipotle is targeting Gen Z with wellness Snapchat lens on menu items and rolling out their ‘Freepotle’ rewards with TikTok and IG prize wheel
- Martha Stewart uses Tito’s Vodka around the house for ‘DIY January’ and is making her metaverse debut with Oreo
Game day ready
Everyone’s excited for Rihanna’s big concert next weekend:
- Campbell’s Chunky tournament blends football with the metaverse and livestreaming
- Miller Lite & Coors Light are going head to head for their first Super Bowl back in over 30 years
- All bets are on with Molson Coors and DraftKings turning Super Bowl ad into a betting opportunity and FanDuel betting big on Gronk in the first Super Bowl spot
- Heinz says it’s time to ditch Roman numerals for Super Bowl 57
- And will you remember Busch Light if they enlist Sarah McLachlan for Super Bowl?
For more than just news, learn how to make social commerce profitable below.