Social media platforms are always on the lookout for new avenues to generate revenue. In 2021, eCommerce looks to be the way to go. Both Instagram and Facebook have been toying with eCommerce integrations for some time, and now Snapchat is betting big.

Snapchat has been working on 2 major integrations in the eCommerce space. The first is a range of options you can use to dress Bitmojis. The second big push is through “shoppable AR” technology, starting with an AR filter that allows you to try on new shoes.

Both these initiatives were announced back during the 2020 Snap Partner summit. A year later, with COVID-19 and work-from-home fueling massive eCommerce growth, Snapchat is likely investing even further into these integrations.


Snapchat – By The Numbers

Before we dive in, it’s worth looking at some of the key aspects that make Snapchat an attractive platform for eCommerce brands.

Snapchat continues to register significant growth in terms of users and engagement. In 2020, Snapchat had 238 Million daily users, an increase of 17% from 2019. Snapchat users visited the app 30 times each day, on average, for up to 30 minutes.

Demographics are an important consideration, as well. A whopping 75 percent of all US 13-34 year-olds are Snapchat users. These numbers make clear why Snapchat’s such an attractive destination for brands looking to market to younger demographics.


Bitmoji Fashion

After Snapchat bought Bitmoji in 2016, it’s become a key part of the app experience, as 70% of users use Bitmojis. In a recently filed patent, Snapchat revealed their plan to partner with leading brands to bring a range of clothing options to Bitmoji. This will enable users to dress their Bitmojis in branded clothing and accessories.

Bitmoji fashion is a win-win for both parties. Users get a more personalized Bitmoji experience, and clothing brands get a new channel to engage with potential customers:  It’s already available in limited forms: brands like Ralph Lauren, Jordan, and Levis already offer custom Bitmoji clothing.

Bitmoji fashion

Snapchat’s fashion push is in line with broader efforts by social media platforms to enable a more seamless experience, integrating branding and eCommerce right into the user’s feeds. What does this say about the future? Instagram and Facebook already have shop integration, but we see things going a step further: In a couple of years, we expect users will be able to twin with their Bitmojis and other avatars by making clothing purchases directly through Snapchat.


The AR Push

From Pokemon Go to QR codes, to trying on outfits, augmented reality has been mainstream for quite some time now. Many eCommerce brands are already heavily invested in AR. Snapchat’s AR push could help brands, especially smaller ones, address technical hurdles that have limited the utility of AR in the past.

What’s Snapchat planning in the AR field? They recently announced a partnership with Gucci, allowing users to try on Gucci shoes through Snapchat lenses. The virtual try-on will let users see how the footwear fits before they make a purchase decision.

gucci shoe try-on AR

The integrated “Shop Now” button makes things even more seamless: users can purchase Gucci shoes straight from the AR lens. This is a first-of-a-kind trial for Snapchat: Previous AR integrations didn’t support direct purchase.

If the Gucci AR partnership goes well, we expect other Snapchat to expand this to other brands and product lines.


What Does This All Mean For Brands And Influencers?

It might seem like Snapchat’s just testing the eCommerce waters, but the AR and Bitmoji integrations represent the start of something big: a direct, native sales channel connecting eCommerce players with Snapchat’s audience.

The AR integrations are particularly interesting: Trying on products is one of the biggest issues with the eCommerce customer experience. AR lenses help bridge the gap, letting users try products out virtually, then make in-app purchases.

For influencers, these additions open up new opportunities to connect their audiences with brands and products. Bitmoji fashion is a way for influencers to showcase the brands they work with while having a bit of fun and potentially saving time and money on photoshoots.


In Closing

Snapchat’s forays into Bitmoji fashion and AR integration are a part of the larger shift in social media monetization patterns. These integrations are less intrusive and more engaging than regular ads, driving revenue growth while improving the user experience.

E-commerce is also a natural option for Snapchat because of its demographic advantages: Gen-Z’s are far more comfortable with eCommerce than previous generations.

We’re moving towards a world where marketing and product placement become seamlessly integrated into everyday life. In many ways, long-term shifts in user behavior are to thank for this: Younger, digital-native social media users are demanding easier ways to try and purchase products, straight from social apps. For platforms like Snapchat, eCommerce is the future. Bitmoji and AR are key first steps.

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