Snapchat is today enhancing its AR shopping experience with updates to shopping lenses in its social app as well as analytics shared with Snap’s brand and business partners. For consumers, AR shopping features become more convenient to use, as they now display key product information, updated in real time, such as the current product price and color details, as well as product descriptions and unique links to make purchases on new lenses. Product cards that appear when users virtually try on products.
For brands, the updates aim to provide more data on the performance of their AR shopping features.
These analytics are now delivered in real-time because AR shopping lenses are tied directly to the company’s product catalog, Snap explains. This allows brands and marketers to get more immediate insights that can help them with their R&D plans, as well as determining what types of products resonate best with younger audiences, Gen Z and the Generation Y of Snapchat. Brands can then incorporate this data when making decisions about ad targeting and future product development. Snap notes that the data can also help brands optimize delivery of their Shopping Lens to app users most likely to make a purchase.
Ahead of today’s public launch, Snap tested the new AR lens with a handful of brands, including Ulta Beauty and MAC Cosmetics. Using these “catalog-powered” shopping lenses, as they are called, Ulta brought in an additional $6 million in Snapchat purchases and over 30 million product trials over a two-week period. MAC, meanwhile, saw 1.3 million trials at a cost of 0.31 cents per product trial and reported a 17x increase in purchases among women, a 2.4x increase in brand awareness and a lightness of purchase intent 9x.
Users can swipe and use gestures to cycle through different AR product options when shopping with AR to see what makeup, clothes, jewelry, and accessories would look like on themselves. The experience is intended to provide a technology alternative to trying on items in a retailer’s store, which serves a growing number of brands that are online-only with no physical footprint, as well as traditional retailers looking to reach a younger audience that shop online frequently.
Snap also makes it easy to create AR Shopping lenses. Although it launched a free web builder last year for brands building AR experiences, it didn’t include easy-to-use AR shopping templates. Now, the company promises that creating AR Shopping Lens can be done in just two minutes with just a few clicks. This is made possible by an update to Lens Web Builder, but initially only for beauty brands. In the coming months, Snap will roll out similar updates to other shopping categories. In the meantime, any brand can continue to use Snap’s Lens Studio to build their AR lenses.
The company has invested heavily in its AR shopping business in recent months, aiming to make shopping a deeper part of the overall Snapchat experience. Last year, it updated its computer vision-based Scan product, which lets users “scan” an item with their phone’s camera to learn more about the product, such as an item of clothing. The feature can also be used to scan ingredients and then be connected to recipes where they can be used. He also spent $124 million to acquire Fit Analytics, a startup that helps consumers find clothes and shoes from online retailers that fit them well. Last October, Snap also announced the launch of a creative studio, Arcadia, which is helping to further commercialize its AR technology by helping brands develop AR experiences that can be used across all platforms, including web and apps. outside of Snapchat itself.
According to data shared by Snap, the AR try-on seems to resonate with Snap’s younger demographic. In a beta test with over 30 brands, Snapchat users have tried products nearly 250 million times. The AR trial also resulted in 2.4x higher purchase intent and a +14% increase in sales over video spend, the data shows. Including non-purchasing AR features, more than 200 million Snapchat users interact with AR on the app daily.
“Augmented reality is changing the way we shop, play and learn, and transforming the way companies tell their stories and sell their products,” Snap Chief Commercial Officer Jeremi Gorman said in a statement. “Starting today, our revamped AR Shopping Lenses will mean a more engaging experience for our Snapchat community and enable a faster, easier way to create Lenses for businesses – linking Lenses directly to product catalogs. existing ones for real-time analytics and R&D on which products resonate with Gen Z and Millennial audiences.”
AR improvements could also give Snap a way to better compete with big social media companies, which haven’t focused so much on AR-enabled shopping in favor of other experiences, like live video shopping. influencer marketing powered by brand deals, and in-app shopping experiences that allow users to transact from the social app they’re using, like Shop on Instagram. And Snap also hopes its Lens targeting features will help the company boost ad revenue — numbers that have been impacted by Apple’s new privacy features, which caused Snap to miss Wall Street’s revenue expectations. in last quarter results. It generated $1.07 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2021, against an expected $1.10 billion, sending the stock down 22% after the earnings report. Snap will release its fourth quarter and full year 2021 results on February 3, 2022.