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Snapchat Bets On Augmented Reality To Win At Social Commerce(Vogue Business)

Snapchat’s users have become conditioned to sharing lens-altered selfies. Soon its 229 million users will be able to snap and shop lenses on both head and foot.

Lens-enhanced “shoefies” will allow users to digitally “try on” shoes and shop them, much the same way they try on makeup and sunglasses. Using augmented reality, the new tool takes the social media site one step closer to enabling users to digitally try on a full wardrobe, and in turn, attract the fashion industry’s advertising spend.

Tech companies are rushing to ramp up their e-commerce solutions as Covid-19 shifts consumer behaviour online. Social media apps have been trying to tackle social commerce for years, reasoning that converting shoppers will drive more brands to advertise on the platform, a more lucrative revenue driver than the tiny commission gained from any sales that happen on the platform. While Snapchat has introduced updates that make it easier for people to discover, advertise and buy products on the platform, Instagram has dominated the social shopping conversation with multiple shopping-centric features including product tagging, Checkout and a tab devoted to shoppable posts. TikTok is also offering a “Shop Now” button, tested by Levi’s.

But Snapchat is in a unique position: it has a largely Gen Z and millennial audience and sophisticated augmented reality lenses are endemic to the platform, which is a natural complement to fashion, who has struggled to solve the problem of online try-on.

“We used entertainment to educate the mass consumer on how to enable AR,” explains Carolina Arguelles, who leads its global product marketing for the Snapchat camera. Now “we've moved from pure entertainment and expanded the use-case. And so with brands, it's a really exciting time, especially in fashion and beauty. The Snapchat camera is connecting brands to their audiences in new ways.”

A new augmented reality

While puppy lenses and rainbows aren’t an obvious bridge to shopping, Snapchat has been playing the long game on augmented reality. It reports that more than 170 million users engage with AR daily, nearly 30 times a day.

The full article read on the Vogue Business

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