Snapchat adds augmented reality shopping to its app

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Alejandro Crespo Martínez
@alejandrocrespomartinez

Summary

  • AR Lenses is Snapchat's main asset against Facebook and Instagram
  • Snapchat launches Shoppable AR feature for its AR Lenses platform
  • Shoppable AR: a superficial use of augmented reality?

The AR Lenses platform is currently Snapchat's main asset to distinguish itself from other social networks like Facebook and Instagram. This platform allows users to dress up using augmented reality filters to take original and fun selfies, photos and videos. According to the firm, more than 70 million people use AR Lenses every day.



AR Lenses is Snapchat's main asset against Facebook and Instagram

This is the reason why Snap Inc. relies heavily on AR Lenses to ensure profitability of its application. In December 2017, the American company launched Lens Studio, allowing everyone to create their own AR filters. Yesterday, the studio has also added new features (seven new templates, and the integration of Giphy).

In addition to entertaining users by letting them make up themselves, AR Lenses is a way for Snapchat to attract companies and advertisers to its platform. For almost three years, Snap has enabled businesses to create their own filters on the AR Lenses platform. An innovative way to advertise. Likewise, the Lens Store allows you to sell AR masks.

Snapchat launches Shoppable AR feature for its AR Lenses platform

This April 19, 2018, Snapchat is enriched by a new feature called Shoppable AR. This allows brands to display and sell products directly from the AR Lenses platform. Shoppable AR actually combines three features.


With the "website" functionality, brands can add a button to a Lens, and that button takes the user to a website where they can purchase the associated product. Several famous brands have already joined in. Adidas is using Shoppable AR to sell its pair of Deerupt running shoes. Clairol, the hair care specialist, offers Snapchat users to try out beauty products.


It is also possible to use Shoppable AR not to sell products directly, but to promote them to Snap users. The "video" functionality allows you to integrate a video, as a trailer or tutorial. For example, STX Entertainment uses Snapchat to promote Amy Schumer's new movie, through a link to the trailer.

Finally, lhas "Install" functionality allows the user to install an application. For example, the mobile game developer King offers a filter that also acts as an AR game playable directly within the application. Interested users can then install the game on their smartphones.


Shoppable AR: a superficial use of augmented reality?

With Shoppable AR, Snap has found a smart way to link social platforms and e-commerce. However, there is no guarantee that this initiative will allow brands to increase their sales significantly.


As Rachel Tipograph, CEO of MikMak, points out, even if the user is engaged by AR Lenses, he is then leads to a regular web page to purchase the product. The potential of augmented reality marketing is therefore only partially exploited. However, it will take a few weeks to determine if the initiative of Snap Inc is a success.



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