News

POV: Snapchat’s Shoppable AR

Background:

This week Snapchat launched a new product called Shoppable AR. It builds on the launch of Sponsored Lenses in late-2015 - which let advertisers create branded filters, bringing product placements to selfies – by making the products shoppable.

Details and Implications:

Accessed by roughly 70 million users per day and typically viewed as a format better geared towards brand experience, the lens update is great for advertisers seeking to connect their brand and demand initiatives.

With mCommerce forecast to be responsible for 18% of all commerce growth in the Western Europe region (Emarketer: Western Europe Retail and Ecommerce update, Jan 2018) it’s crucial for platforms today to provide a seamless shopper experience that meets consumers’ demands for speed, value and convenience, particularly for mobile platforms like Snapchat.

An important feature of the Lens update is that once a user has tapped on the ‘Shop’ button, the user is not removed from the Snapchat experience, but rather the commerce experience is housed within Snapchat.

This is achieved via AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages), which cache the landing page and load the product page immediately upon tapping the ‘Shop’ button. With site speed flagged as the biggest barrier to purchase via mCommerce, the obvious benefit is the speed and fluidity of the experience, which will result in the increased likelihood of conversion.

The new product has been successfully trialed with brands from beauty, fashion, auto and entertainment sectors.

To illustrate how important the mobile site experience is for the growth of mCommerce, advertisers need look no further than Google’s initiative to support brands in the development of AMPs and their use within Google Shopping via Showcase Ads. From a Social Commerce point-of-view, this same approach powers the shopping ad integration within Instagram Stories.

Snapchat’s pivot to have an increased focus on commerce is best illustrated by the roaring success of the ‘Air Jordan III Tinker sneakers’ campaign. The Lens for the campaign was geographically targeted around the Staples Centre in LA during the NBA All-Star game and surprised users with a world-lens where they could ‘view’ throwbacks of Jordan taking off from the free-throw line during the dunk contest, kitted of course, in the new Air Jordan, which were available on exclusive release that day. The shoes sold-out within 23 minutes.

Summary:

Snapchat’s launch of ‘Shoppable AR’ is the latest example of digital platforms providing a new kind of distribution outlet and it is a positive move for brands as they consider their e-commerce channel strategy. Social commerce and unique shopping activations create new ways to reach more customers and will continue to be an investment area for a lot of retailers and brands alike. They also show that there is growth opportunity outside of Amazon.

Innovation in connected commerce is still in its infancy but if brands aren’t investing in transforming how media activation and commerce intersect, they will be left behind.

Further Reading:

Forbes / The Verge / Business Insider / Techcrunch / Think With Google