Thursday, April 19, 2018

Snapchat Adds Shopping to Its Augmented Reality Ads

It was only a matter of time before selfies and shopping began to merge, right? Snapchat has just released its newest offering that they call “shoppable AR” (e.g. shoppable augmented reality). It takes Snapchat lenses that are sponsored by brands and adds a button that takes users directly to a landing page for shopping, an app-install page, or a video or website… all without leaving the Snapchat app.

Snapchat was one of the earlier innovators of augmented reality (AR), bring fun “lenses” that users could overlay on top of their selfies or videos. Snapchat first monetized this with paid lenses that brands sponsored and tailored to feature their products or reflect their brand identities. As a Marketer, its hard for me to believe that advertisers would be interested in sponsoring these lenses and driving this type of engagement with users without having an immediate way to take the user to a customized landing page. One of the great things about paid social advertising is its ability to collapse the funnel and make purchases only a click away from the user engagement. Until shoppable AR was released, this benefit just wasn’t as apparent in the Snapchat app.

The shoppable AR lenses are sold to advertisers just like the company’s broader catalog of sponsored lenses. Snapchat’s automated, self-service platform is now ready for Shoppable AR purchases, or they can be purchased through company sales reps. So far brands such as Adidas, Clairol, and STX movie studio have piloted Shoppable AR with success.

While this is being touted as Snapchats latest innovation, it seems more like a no-brainer to me. Or perhaps a why-haven’t-you-already-done-this? Regardless, I wouldn’t be surprised if this became standard for paid lenses in the future since it seems to provide significantly more value to those buying the ads.

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