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TikTok, Social Commerce, Brand Collective: Q&A with Matthew Iozzi
Social commerce has taken to new heights in recent years and it shows no signs of slowing down. We sat down with Matthew Iozzi, the Head of Marketing of Superdry ANZ and Group PR Manager at Superdry, Elwood, Mossimo and Volley, to chat about the changes in consumer perceptions of social commerce, his inspiration and retailers that are killing the game.
Matthew Iozzi has achieved a lot in his life. Since beginning his role at Superdry in 2018, he and his team have achieved a series of successful social media campaigns, across platforms like Instagram and TikTok. And he is showing no signs of stopping.
In early 2020, the Superdry team collaborated with NZ artists eleven7four, with influencers sharing viral dance routines on TikTok. Superdry saw 300 guests line up over three hours, producing more than 1,200 pieces of content and generating 2,000 followers over the course of a single day. “We were blown away,” he says. “The level of engagement these individuals possess rivals that of sporting stars in some countries.”
Reaching millions of users on the social platform was just the beginning. “I think the last 18 months have seen the rise of many new social commerce led initiatives, including the likes of TikTok and Facebook Marketplace, that provide opportunities for brands. Those that I suspect to be most successful, however, lies in the convergence between social commerce and video-based content,” Iozzi tells us.
TikTok is, in his words, the “current buzzword of the social commerce space”. He tells us that Superdry integrates these technological elements, further encouraging impulse purchases. These include links in bio, fast checkout, and integration with social payment tools and 15-second user-generated content. “TikTok is effectively on route to providing brands with a chance to target and convert over two billion users globally,” he shares.
Superdry’s continued success on the platform has a few key secret ingredients: the “ability to strike a balance in the convergence of content, community and social commerce,” he tells us. “In 2018, seeing the increasing momentum of the platform as an opportunity to target 16–24-year-olds, a key area of focus for the business, and knowing that 97 percent of Gen Z’s use social media as their top source of shopping inspiration, Superdry decided to tap in.”
As a social media aficionado, what is Matthew’s favourite social media campaign that he’s seen in the last 12 months? EA Games’ #PlayWithLife campaign on TikTok, celebrating the launch of The Sims 4. As a result, the challenge gained more than 15.4 billion views, helped in part by incorporating pre-existing AI technology which helped bring the promotion to life.
“It was both sophisticated and simple with a clear connection to the brand that integrated seamlessly with the ethos of the platform connecting individuals to a wider community through a shared experience,” he says. “Simply brilliant.”
Is this what the future of social commerce looks like to Matthew? Not exactly. “In my opinion, social commerce is forever evolving and developing,” he tells Power Retail. “New platforms will emerge and some like MySpace will fall to the wayside. I foresee many new players in the game and the increasing convergence between social commerce, content and community.”
E-commerce has undergone a radical transformation in the wake of the pandemic. With Australian consumers spending more online than ever before, the team at Superdry understand the power of converting their customers into devoted online shoppers. “Throughout the varying degrees of lockdown and reprieve across many parts of the country, we have seen traditional foot traffic vary in both urban and rural locations, however, digital traffic has continued to grow across the board,” Iozzi says.
Matthew’s favourite social media app right now is TikTok, which comes as no surprise. “Being introduced to the platform over two years ago now I can appreciate how far it’s come and the myriad of voices now playing in the space,” he says. Providing him with ‘hours of entertainment, insight and knowledge’ over months of lockdowns, he is ‘very thankful’ for it (although he says that his partner might disagree!)
Throughout Matthew’s expansive career, from Topshop to MyDeal, and now Superdry, he has set himself continuous goals and milestones. But he hasn’t done it alone. “Having worked across tech, television and now fashion, learning as I go, I recognise that whilst I’ve worked very hard to be where I am, I wouldn’t be here today without certain people who helped foster my learning or pushing me to challenge myself,” he shares.
Typically, he will begin his day with a six-kilometre run, followed by an almond cappuccino before checking his emails. As a dedicated yogi, he relies on Bikram to help ‘balance out the crazy antics’ that come along with his role. “Planning, photoshoots, meetings whatever the day throws at me doesn’t really matter so long as there’s a Bikram studio nearby followed by a big meal and glass of red at the end,” he tells us.
Matthew may be a keen TikTok user, but is he also an avid online shopper? In his own words: “Of course!”
“Having worked in the world of e-commerce for several years now, it seems second nature to shop online – it’s a mix of market research to see what’s coming up in the space but also a guilty pleasure and excuse to give my credit card a workout,” he shares.
During lockdown, he (like many others) decided to redo his house and his wardrobe. His most recent purchases include a black floor-to-ceiling arched mirror from Temple & Webster, which currently leans against his freshly painted walls. And, of course, to survive a chilly Melbourne winter, he wouldn’t be complete without some new merino knit jumpers from Superdry.
It can be hard to constantly seek out inspiration for a job as creative as his, but the secret to his success is collaboration. “Brand Collective does a great job at fostering this, encouraging dialogue and promoting conversations between different departments, allowing ideas to flow quite freely,” he says. ” Thankfully I’m also blessed to be working with an exceptional marketing team at Superdry. We regularly bounce ideas off each other and sit as a wider team to ensure all elements of the brand, from product to e-commerce are aligned in marketing creative.” But of course, if all else fails, there’s always coffee!
Everyone has days that are better than others, so how does he keep himself motivated if times get tough? Queen B is his answer. “I constantly remind myself that we have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyoncé. If she can do everything that she does and look that good, then so can I.”