The Bazaarvoice social commerce news bulletin is a monthly roundup of the best and most exciting social media news we’ve seen.
This news bulletin (you don’t hear that word enough anymore) is to provide you with bitesize bits of goodness on all things visual and social content — what’s trending in the social commerce sphere, what new themes we’re seeing from brands and retailers, what the cool kids are doing, etc. There will 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 posting these monthly 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. Enjoy!
For all of you that participated in Dry January — congratulations, you made it. Here’s this month’s social commerce news to wet your detoxed whistle.
1. Super Bowl LiVIng
Personally I prefer the Puppy Bowl, but if you’re like 96+ million others who will be tuning into the big Bowl and Pepsi’s all-star Halftime Show, keep an eye open, because Pepsi has evolved the show into a multi-week campaign with a spotlight on a Super Bowl Halftime Show app. Other brands are getting creative with their approach, too:
- Fan favorite, Avocados from Mexico, have started to roll out a multi-channel campaign
- Groupon is inviting fans to Gronk’s house for a Super Bowl Party
- Miller Lite is using a metaverse bar to skirt around a Super Bowl ad block. (My personal favourite!)
2. Now let’s take a quick trip down Metaverse lane
If you haven’t heard about the Metaverse enough, get ready because it may be a very big part of your future. Here’s some big things happening in the ‘verse, so you can make an educated decision on whether or not to plug in:
- Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $70B to gain a foothold in the metaverse.
- P&G takes their first step into the metaverse with BeautySphere where people can interact with the company’s portfolio of brands through live and simulated content.
- Walmart doesn’t want to be left out and signals metaverse plan, with trademark applications around virtual goods & NFT’s.
- And Disney will be taking you from Magic Kingdom to metaverse with their new patent for a virtual world simulator. I guess it’s not such a small world after all.
3. Enough of the future, let’s talk about the now
Taking a moment to highlight some of the fun things brands are currently doing:
- Lexus is launching a digital heavy campaign offering spin on ‘hustle culture’
- Taco Bell is using Twitter to crowdsource their next ad for Nacho Fries
- NBCUniversal deepens TikTok ties around Winter Olympics
- Frito-Lay and Rick Astley have teamed up on TikTok
- Bush’s Beans is tapping TikTok and Reels creators for Can Film Festival — yes, that is a play on Cannes Film Festival and I love it
- And Oscar Mayer has created ‘bologna-inspired’ face masks. You’re welcome.
4. You can run but you literally cannot hide from social commerce
Let’s not forget that social commerce is expected to grow 3 times as fast as e-commerce by 2025, social media is still important in connecting with Gen Z consumers, and we’re seeing significant gains on traditional media consumption by user-created content. Especially short-form video.
Is anyone surprised by any of this? Not to say there isn’t some wariness from consumers. Social media users are increasingly concerned about data privacy and some consumers have anxiety around tech hype. Add it to the list of things to keep me up at night.
Thanks for reading, see you at next month’s social commerce news bulletin!
Yes, you did blink and February was over. Really could’ve used a leap year for an extra day to get some things done but alas. We march on.
5. Still reeling from this months hottest news
Excitement is in the air. Water coolers are abuzz with chatter. There’s one piece of news on everyone’s lips this month. The hot-off-the-press release of Bazaarvoice’s Instagram Reels Scheduling! 🍾🍾
6. Won’t you be mine
Cupid may be the god of love and attraction, but brands, retailers, and platforms all took a page from his book this Valentine’s Day:
- Truly hosted a love contest to encourage Valentine’s Day dates
- Instagram hosted a V Day live-stream shopping event
- YouTube launched a Valentine’s Day push on short vids in their latest attempts to combat TikTok while Messenger added bill split & longer voice memos
- Chewy hosted a TikTok Live event to help people find love with rescue animals
- And my personal favourite – Shake Shack hooked up with DoorDash for a chicken-sandwich themed dating app.
7. Gen-Z me, please
It’s no secret that everyone is trying to appeal to that younger demo and we promise, you don’t look a day over 29:
- Versace plans for 100 new stores with their younger consumers flocking on and offsite and David’s Bridal launched their first juniors collection
- Walmart will soon carry Bonobo’s new Gen-Z focused line – accessible price point, colorful, AND functional. What WON’T it do?!
- Denny’s targets younger diners with help of diverse TikTok stars
8. With a little help from our (tech) friends
Don’t freak out, but Sam’s Club is deploying inventory checking robots.
Things that are little less sci-fi include (but are not limited to): Petco offering pet boarding, sitting, and walking through the Rover app. Pinterest launched their Try in Home feature in collaboration with brands like Crate & Barrel and Wayfair. Sally Hansen debuted AR try-on tech for nail polish, and Timberland explore their history through an experiential game.
Snap’s AR catalog-powered shopping lens have brands/retailers seeing $$ with initial tests underway – Ulta has already generated $6 million in sales and they’ve seen 17x lift in purchases among women for MAC Cosmetics. All pointing to that social commerce future.
9. Tomato, ToMeta
Meta is always in the news, for better or worse, but here’s a few standouts:
- Meta hosted a number of Black History Month events including dedicated programming with AR & VR experiences
- They launched a new metaverse aligned ad campaign
- And they published a new report into Evolving Conversation Trends and Interests Infographic. If anything, take a peak for convo points at your next dinner party.
Oh, and Garner says a quarter of consumers will use the metaverse daily by 2026. No big deal. See you for next month’s social commerce news!
Spring has officially sprung and it’s time to start tanning, because sweater weather is coming to an end. And if you’re as sick as I am of reading about Will Smith and the slap, here’s a bit of social commerce goodness.
10. Reduce, reuse, recycle, retail
People are finally realizing that climate change is real and it’s no secret that companies need to start doing their part. You’re either with us, or we’re against you:
- Macy’s is investing $5 billion in social responsibility efforts while Target and Amazon debut sustainable store concepts — ‘Target Zero’ appeals to consumers’ sustainability concerns
- REI, North Face, and Patagonia to protest Outdoor Retailer conference because their beliefs don’t align with Utah’s stance on national monuments, and Patagonia teams up with Dogfish on an environmentally minded brew
- IPG’s Momentum to track environmental impact as experiential bounces back
- And cheers to Coors for removing plastic rings for a sustainable future
11. Video (and social) killed the radio star
…and caused BIG shifts in how consumers engage with content. So much so that 66% of brands spent more on creator marketing in the past year:
- Bazaarvoice (that’s us) introduced scheduling for Instagram Reels. We have the entire Instagram ecosystem covered
- Master of short-form no more, 10 minute vids are coming to TikTok. While IG is shutting down IGTV App and removing in-stream video ads
- Home Depot launches business workshops to help their relationship with the professional
- Instacart adds shoppable recipe tool to TikTok — yum
- Merrell pushes fresh air over gimmicky self care gadgets, like women swap store bought crystals for real life mountains. This is one thing this Colorado gal can get around
- Twitter launches live test of new profile shops to display products in app while Acura becomes first automaker to launch NFT and virtual showroom
- Snapchat is coming for your brain as they acquire brain reading tech for next stage of digital interaction — is nothing sacred?
12. THE BEAT GOES ON
Just when you thought the department store was dying, they’re getting more crafty! Or at least making, “a lasting comeback” given the last 2+ years of constraints. Also, I’m introducing you to the newest of new terms — The ‘phygital’ era. No, like, actually read that one – I promise you’ll like it.
- Nordstrom is building a media network(!!)
- Kohl’s wants to transform from a department store to “a focused lifestyle concept” while Macy’s unveils their new Own Your Style brand platform
We love to see it.
13. RELAX. It’s just a joke
See you next month!
While I’ve been gone, I turned another year older, Elon may or may not purchase Twitter, and the social commerce news world continues to turn. Let’s take a look at what’s been happening this Gemini season.
14. Stop, collaborate, and listen
Summer flings have begun because we’re seeing lots of budding romances.
- Sweetgreen taps Devin Booker for Tik-Tok inspired spot while Panera is teaming up with T Pain
- Hoping Kim Kardashian isn’t jealous that Pete Davidson is courting male shoppers in H&M ads
- Michelob Ultra arranges McEnroe virtual showoff… With himself
- Taco Bell teams with Lil Nas X to help solve global challenges while Pepsi and Pizza Hut put soccer fans in Paul Pogba’s shoes with AR game
15. Platform push
Lot’s been happening across all the social platforms – follow me, everyone, keep up:
- TikTok is improving Creator monetization with their new ‘Pulse’ program and their new ad product lets brands crowdsource content
- Meta is also upping their Reels monetization options to better incentivize creators. And they also released their ‘Widely Viewed Content Report’ and are testing NFT display options on IG before heading to FB
- Pinterest launches new ‘TV Studio’ to expand its live commerce offerings, while Snap expands e-commerce reach for brands with new AR technology
16. You heard it here first
Charge your Airpods, because It’s all about the audio:
- Kia takes inspiration from nature for new audio signature and are also releasing a podcast with SoundCloud
- Cheez-It taps Pandora to produce ‘sonically-aged’ cheddar crackers after a study found that, “ageing cheese with hip-hop music affect the final product’s taste and smell’
- And both Mattress Firm and American Girl are jumping on the podcast bandwagon
17. Digitize me
Just wanting to do a recap of all the ways brands are transforming their digital presence:
- Lego Group gets it and will be tripling the size of their digital team to accelerate digital transformation
- Crate & Barrel names SVP of the metaverse, Pizza Hut and Jimmy John’s tie first metaverse experiments to real-world rewards and Starbucks builds out ‘third place’ with foray into NFT’s
- And Marriott is launching the hospitality industry’s first media network — they’re working hard so you can play harder
18. If you like visuals
Until the next social commerce news…
Hope everyone has recovered after the long weekend and you were able to eat a hot dog or three. But before I get into July’s social commerce news, we have to talk about everything that happened in social commerce in June. So turn up the new Beyonce and settle in.
19. How are You(Tube)?
YouTube is very much still in the game, reporting that 1.5 billion users now engage with YouTube Shorts content each month. They’re also taking their next steps into live-stream commerce via their Beauty Fest 2022 and their Shorts with Glossier Challenge.
They’ve also published the Culture & Trends Report 2022.
20. Getting the brand back together
Although consumers say brands are not delivering on the humor, they’re doing some pretty cool things.
- Brands like Heineken and Stella Artois helping with work/life balance. Heineken created a bottle opener that closes down work apps and Stella Artois sets sights on dinnertime as the work-life divide remains blurred
- We love to see a team up — Alka-Seltzer releases a new hangover relief product with help from T-Pain while Old Spice teams up with Arby’s to tackle ‘Meat Sweats’. Sounds like we’ll need one for the other
- Kraft rebrands macaroni and cheese to how we all know and love it
- Unilever, Mondeléz, Pepsico among early partner for Instacart’s shoppable video and display units
- Chanel is breaking with the rich, in favor of the ultra-rich
- And they say that these five brands are getting it right when it comes to the future of social commerce
21. Roblox and metaverse and AI
There’s a lot going on in all the other universes.
- Brands like Gucci and Victoria’s Secret are now on Roblox
- Walmart is going to release at home and in store AR tools while Amazon launches virtual try-on for shoes
- And no big deal but, the metaverse is estimated to generate up to $5 trillion in impact by 2030. That’s so much money that banks are carving out their own spaces in the metaverse
And just worth mentioning. Let’s see how retailers have responded to Roe v. Wade.
See you next month!
July was a hot one with record heat across the globe and in social commerce news. While Kylie was taking 17 minute flights, the Choco Taco said goodbye. RIP 😢. There’s lots to catch up on, so let’s get going.
22. Don’t hate the player (or the game)
Brands are driving significant impressions by sponsoring esports and continuing their focus on the gaming industry:
- McDonald’s announced the first major partnership of a collective of online creators focused on the gaming space
- E.l.f. is appealing to gamers with a themed lined of beauty & skincare products
- Marriott Bonvoy is producing a digital variety show, ‘Gamer’s Paradise’
- Mike and Ike sweetens esports brand’s bid at winning over Fortnite fans
I have nothing quippy to say because I am not a gamer, except: game on.
23. Everything in site
With growing preference for social media and video being the most engaging type of content online, Instagram and TikTok are eating into Google’s core products like Search & Maps. What else is happening on their platforms?
- They may be rivaling Google, but TikTok is scaling back live-stream commerce ambitions even with the new insight into the potential of livestream shopping
- I’m sure you’ve seen the uproar as Instagram users call for app to be less like TikTok. Well, they listened…for a minute
- YouTube contributed $25 billiob to the American economy in 2021. UM. K. That’s that creator economy money
- They’re also expanding their in-stream commerce tools with their new Shopify integration
- Twitter shares new research into the roles that social media engagement has on purchase activity and spoiler alert, it’s important. Almost as much as reviews
24. Bright lights, big screen
People are watching shopping and brands are keeping up:
- Coke and Lacoste see the value in ‘Stranger Things’ product placement
- Sky Vodka and Jordan Peele encourage consumers to look to the sky. Nope
- And HBO is expanding their partnership with Duolingo for the new Game of Thrones spinoff
25. A bit of mixed bag of social commerce news goodness
- If you didn’t already see it, Bazaarvoice talks about how David’s Bridal weds TikTok’s videos with commerce to drive clickthroughs
- Dick’s Sporting Goods debuts virtual high school experience on Roblox for the youths, and Levi’s denim remain strong in Q2 as the olds wear jeans to work
- LL Bean products are too good, and are flexing their durability in a consumer-led campaign
- Pottery Barn launches an accessible home collection. How is this just happening now??
- And Nike debuts new store concept with Nike Style that “blurs the line between physical and digital.” You’ll find gender-neutral merchandising and a content studio in the new Seoul location
26. Thoughts for the road
With rumors of a looming recession’ e-commerce sales are still to exceed $1 trillion this year and some influencer marketing budgets are increasing (remember that Creator Economy). Oh and people need to stop using virtual shopping and metaverse interchangeably — one is happening in the other.
While summer is almost over and Serena is finally calling it quits, not all’s bad, come the end of August. Let’s take a look back on all things social commerce news this month, like Tariq taking the world by corn.
27. Beer battered
Beverage companies get to have all the fun whether it’s creative campaigns or support for their fans:
- PBR is taking us back in time with an 80’s style motel while Miller Lite is serving up dive bar inspired ice cream and renting out grills in their latest summer stunt
- Combating wildfires has been a focus — Coors Banquet is supporting firefighters and the WFF and Busch Light is passing out flameless cookers this Labor Day
- If your mind is on the long weekend, Corona is taking reservations for their sustainably conscious, eco-tourism island
- It’s all about the aficionado with Budweiser sending soccer fans on a scavenger hunt ahead of the World Cup and has inflation got you down? Bud Light is helping football fans cover beer cost to celebrate NFL’s return
- Don’t forget the liquor! Tito’s is spoofing the hard seltzer craze by selling empty cans (Austinites you can get one IRL) and Patron is concocting cocktail-themed quests in the metaverse
28. New kids on the block
You may or may not have (finally) heard about the new platform BeReal. They’ve got 10 million daily active users. If not, don’t worry, we’ll be filling you all in later with more BeReal info but for now, just know that Instagram is trying to copy. Lots of other goodness too:
- WeAre8 is another new social media platform looking to attract more brands
- Snap outlines new advances in virtual object creation, which could accelerate the Metaverse shift.
- Walmart is looking to compete with Amazon Prime and picks Paramount as streaming partner for membership plan
- Good and bad for Meta as they round the next stage of Bot development while Facebook shuts down its live commerce push. Read up on all things live stream shopping in this blog and keep your eyes peeled for our take on live shopping coming out later this month
29. TIKTOK MADE ME (WRITE) IT
Are we tired of TikTok yet? Given the continued reporting that affirms the rise of TikTok and decline of FB , we’re not. Let’s see what they’ve done this month:
- They launched a new ‘order center’ e-commerce tracking hub with select users and are streamlining social commerce with three new ad formats
- They’re getting into politics
- And they’re sharing new insight into the evolution of e-commerce in the app
- Bazaarvoice (us) launched a new TikTok analytics tool
30. Cool cool cool
Taking a moment of silence to remember the wonderful things brands did this month:
- Carl’s Jr. & Hardee’s asked the Twitch community to help build a new menu item while Tony the Tiger became a Twitch streamer himself — isn’t that grrrreat?
- It’s nearly cupping season with Taco Bell taking wedding services to the metaverse and Bumble celebrating Black dating experiences in a YouTube series
- Doritos sets consumers on hunt for triangles and Levi’s is taking you back with a ’90’s-style capsule’ collection at Kohl’s
- Pure Leaf’s TikTok hotline is helping women navigate pressure to be sweet
- And Ulta Beauty launches digital innovation venture fund which is good bc high income shoppers have already spent $9 billion on beauty in 2022
Let’s talk Social Commerce news from September. 🍂
31. It’s called fashion, look it up
NYFW happened earlier this month and no surprise that the fashion industry continues to set the trend. Brands showed up in unique ways this round:
- Adore Me hosted their first live runway show while Bloomingdale’s debuted their virtual store
- And Alo Yoga releases first ready-to-wear collection and NFT at NYFW. They used AR mirrors for people to try their collection on — welcome to the future
32. I like them loyal
And so do brands, but they need to be creative in this landscape:
- Starbucks continues to set the bar with their loyalty platform and now they’re integrating NFT’s into the works. The NFT marketplace called Starbucks Odyssey is the first of its kind
- Maybelline partners with gaming powerhouse, Zynga, for playable ad integration that will include gamification, product reviewing, and video content
33. At our fingertips
Did you know that of all Instagram users, 70% open the app to shop? Totally fine if you didn’t, but just so you know, we’re doing everything on our phones and on social these days. Everything:
- Here’s why m-commerce is the new e-commerce (yes, m-commerce)
- There’s a new report that underlines the increasing reliance on social platforms for news content
- And Apple is literally creating a bigger iPhone screen to accommodate streaming and gaming 📱
34. Go Sports!
I’m certainly not the expert in this department but sports are important to lots of people. And brands:
- Coca-Cola kicks off digitally driven World Cup campaign
- Even the NFL is using UGC with fans being front and center as the season kicks off while Snickers kicks it with a hunt for ‘rookie mistakes’
- Nissan’s long-running Heisman program features a college athlete and metaverse for the first time
- And though I might not be turning on ESPN for anything other than F1, DirectTV understands there are fans of both sports AND Bravo TV
35. Random, so random
But for good measure:
- Patagonia owner transfers ownership to save earth and how this challenges marketers to act on sustainability
- Instacart is expanding its digital footprint in-store
- And Little Caesars opens Instagram gallery selling pepperoni-themed art in case you were wondering
Happy spooky season everyone 👻🎃
Hope everyone is recovered from their sugar comas and if you’re just waking up — Tom Brady & Gisele split, Heidi Klum was a worm, and Elon Musk owns Twitter. And yes, it’s already November. Let’s chat quickly about October social commerce news.
36. Clothes so nice we wore them twice
Everyone seems to be getting into the re-sale game with sustainability being a focus for many and inflation on the rise:
- Goodwill launches an online re-sale marketplace while Shein launches an option of their own. We should’ve Shein that coming…
- In an effort to reduce holiday spending in this economy, 25% of shoppers say they’ll buy second-hand gifts this season
- North Face releases circular design clothing and is re-launching their take-back program
- Popular re-sell marketplace, Poshmark to be sold for $1.2B
- And Mentos sustainability campaign proves raccoons are better at recycling
TikTok doesn’t show any signs of slowing down since bypassing Netflix as the second most popular app for those under 35 (Youtube is still #1..for now).
They’re still betting on social commerce with their latest venture appearing to be e-commerce fulfillment. And while interest from their western hemisphere users isn’t as strong as those in the east, TikTok is taking a new approach to promoting its livestream shopping tools and are sharing insights into the potential of live shopping for brands.
And looks like our TikTok is going to Hollywood with new Showtimes ad format. 🎥
38. Best of the rest social commerce news
We’re all over the place out there so here’s just a fun list of things we saw this past month:
- Gen Z is breaking the marketing mould and I just love to see the niche love
- Pete Davidson apologizes for Taco Bell while Coach taps Lil Nas X as the brand pivots towards “expressive luxury”
- Netflix is mixing immersion with commerce in multi-title pop up store — think Disney World gift shop for adults
- Snapchat unveiled their AR-to-purchase activation for Halloween costumes
- Walmart’s been busy experimenting with shoppable content and launching their beta version of content creator platform
And again, in case you missed it – Elon bought Twitter. 🐦