In an effort to help its advertising partners close sales with its sponsored augmented reality camera effects, Snapchat has launched a set of e-commerce tools designed to encourage users to buy products directly in the app.
Shoppable AR is an enhanced Lens that offers advertisers an action button that executes one of three potential actions for users as they interact with the AR content. Brands can push users to visit their web store, view a video (such as a movie trailer), or install an app.
"Shoppable AR Lenses give brands a new way to leverage our unique scale—more than half of the 13 to 34-year-old population of the US plays with our AR Lenses each week on average—to drive real and measurable [return on investment], whether that's through sales, downloads, lead [generation], or video views," said Peter Sellis, Snap Inc.'s director of revenue product, in a statement given to Next Reality.
Snapchat already has several brands, namely Adidas, STX Entertainment, Clarion, and King on board with Shoppable AR. Lenses for both Adidas and Clarion push customers to their respective online stores. STX Entertainment is using Shoppable AR to promote the trailer for I Feel Pretty, the latest film from comedian Amy Schumer. And King's Lens is a mini-game that encourages players to install Candy Crush Saga.
"This is exactly the type of innovative move we were looking for and our new Deerupt product was a perfect fit," said Chris Murphy, head of digital experience for Adidas US, in the same statement provided by Snap Inc. "We no longer live in a world where it has to be either brand or commerce, consumers don't think that way, and neither should we."
With the new tools, Snapchat continues to aggressively tap into augmented reality as an advertising medium. A recent report from The Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm, found that one of every three smartphone users in the US interacts with an AR app every month.
"Snapchat Lenses are among the most unique ways to provide interactivity with potential moviegoers and are now even stronger thanks to this new, simple button to view a trailer," said Amy Elkins, executive vice president of media and marketing innovation for STX Entertainment, in the same aforementioned statement. "We're excited to be among the first to attach a trailer directly to an AR Lens."
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But does AR translate to sales?
In yet another recent report, this one from customer experience platform provider InMoment, a survey found that only 10% of consumers found augmented reality useful in retail experiences. So while some data points may point to increased consumer engagement via AR, its seems the clearest picture for this new immersive form of marketing is still developing.
However, Snapchat points to third-party reporting, made available to its advertising partners, which appears to show tangible returns on AR marketing investments. For instance, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, which measures in-store sales that result from advertising on social platforms including Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, found that across 22 Lens campaigns there was an average sales lift of 10%.
"The augmented reality Lens experience that millions of people engage with on Snapchat daily provides Adidas an avenue to help our consumers unlock their creativity," said Murphy. "With this move Snap is now providing brands the opportunity to not just drive engagement with AR Lenses, but also seamlessly drive them to commerce."