BuzzFeed Getting Into eCommerce, Launches Product Lab

Just over a month ago, BuzzFeed acquired Scroll, seemingly without anyone noticing. While some say an unlikely pair, their executives see a match for connecting with millennial consumers: the BuzzFeed Product Lab.

BuzzFeed is known for its millennial-focused content from quizzes and videos, to news updates delivered in the tailored tone for its audience. Scroll is an eCommerce startup company founded by Quirky Founder Ben Kaufman.

Back in October, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and Kaufman moved forward on getting BuzzFeed into the eCommerce space. The way it’s currently playing out is through a 10-person team known as the “BuzzFeed Product Lab,” where experiments related to commerce occur, and results are yet to be disclosed.

While those results are still kept quiet, Peretti has said that the acquisition has similarities to the evolution of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. That’s the video production aspect of the company that has been received positively by millennials and been good business for BuzzFeed. Peretti said that he’s leaning on Kaufman to take his knowledge of Quirky and Scroll and turn it into product development, distribution and marketing for BuzzFeed.

This means that BuzzFeed likely has plans to sell things in its own millennial-focused way: through social commerce.

Previously, BuzzFeed’s eCommerce included affiliate links to third-party sites. While this route can be lucrative, venturing into the social commerce world may be something that could be very popular for consumers in the next two years.

The experiments are beginning with Homesick Candles, aimed at reeling in the emotions of consumers who are away from and missing their home. Another product is the Fondoodler for those who are big on cheese and want to get creative with presentation.

But it’s not just online that the new BuzzFeed Product Lab is hoping to lure these new customers. A few blocks away from the NYC BuzzFeed headquarters, the lab is opening the doors to a brick-and-mortar location dubbed “Homesick for the Holidays,” where concepts and ideas will play and test out.


New PYMNTS Study: Subscription Commerce Conversion Index – July 2020 

Staying home 24/7 has consumers turning to subscription services for both entertainment and their day-to-day needs. While that’s a great opportunity for providers, it also presents a challenge — 27.4 million consumers are looking to cancel their subscriptions because of friction and cost concerns. In the latest Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, PYMNTS reveals the five key features that can help companies keep subscribers loyal despite today’s challenging economic times.

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