Snapchat has just introduced a shoppable augmented reality feature designed specifically for its Lens. The new shopping AR is geared towards companies who want a novel way to further advertise their products.
The company rolled out Lenses in 2015. The machine learning-based feature enabled users to add different effects to their images. This feature was later expanded to include sponsored Lenses for advertisers. The Lenses allowed users to superimpose ads on their selfies, essentially pushing the brand in the snap they shared with friends.
— Adweek (@Adweek) April 18, 2018
The new “Shoppable AR” feature pushes existing boundaries further by extending Snapchat's Lenses to include a button that offers users three actions—visiting a brand's homepage, installing an app, or watching a promotional video.
These new tools are now live with four brands—Adidas, Clairol, King, and STX Entertainment. The first two brands are utilizing the “website” lens to promote their products and direct potential customers to a website. For example, the Clairol Color Crave filter gives users the chance to play around and change their hair into different colors. Snapchat users who then tap on the Shop Now button will be taken to a Target page to purchase the chosen hair color.
Meanwhile, King is using the “install” lens to drum up interest in Candy Crush while STX Entertainment is using the “video” lens tool to let consumers view a trailer for the I Feel Pretty movie.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) April 18, 2018
Similar to other Filters, options for the Shoppable AR can be used just to send a Snap. Links are not saved inside any of the selfies snapped using the filter. These links also open up a browser inside the app.
Checkout for the Shoppable AR isn't on the app, as the feature presently doesn't use the Snap Commerce Platform. It will be up to the advertiser to enable options like sign in, autofill, or Apple Pay.
Snapchat is hoping that the new AR feature will resonate with younger users, the main market for the lenses. The majority of Snapchat's user base are young, internet savvy individuals who tend to block online ads. Hopefully, the three new tools will get products in front of more users.
Advertisers won't be experiencing any price increase with the new Lens feature. There's also no doubt that it will be easy to capture the interest of companies already using Snapchat to market their brands.
Ensuring users stay inside the app is also a brilliant move for Snap since it doesn't feel like companies are actively advertising. The ads offered and product sales have a more organic feel. Plus, it will prompt users to become more engaged with the app, which is what Snapchat wants.