Snapchat Becomes An AR Mall

Published on 25 Apr 2022


It's become a basic principle of the internet: wherever people congregate, they must also purchase. Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and almost every other social network and messaging app in the world have spent the past couple of years attempting to turn every pixel of your conversations and photos into a one-click purchase option.

Snap's aims are more audacious than most on this front. It's attempting to funnel the entire shopping experience — you see a shirt you like on a stranger, learn what it is and where to purchase it, try it on, buy it, wear it, replace it as everything looks better on Ryan Reynolds than you, rinse and repeat — through Snap's augmented reality camera. Most of that technology is also compatible with companies' websites and merchant applications through Camera Kit. Additionally, there is always — always — a purchase button.

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The Expected Release Date For Dress Up

There is a significant amount of work, but Snap is moving swiftly. The company announced Thursday at its annual Creator Summit that it is expanding its augmented reality try-on features, which allow users to use their cameras to virtually try on glasses and clothing, and that it is also developing an in-app hub called Dress Up, which it hopes will be the future of the shopping mall.

Dress Up is not intended to feel like a catalog of things to purchase, but it is. Snap wants to make it more engaging and interactive than your typical Amazon page. "This is not a shopping tab for product feeds," Carolina Navas, Snap's director of augmented reality product and strategy marketing, said in an interview. "Now, there is a very fundamental utilitarian use case that we are also focused on driving," because obviously, getting paid to buy things is how everyone gets paid, "but there is also a huge area of fashion that is all about self-expression, seeking advice from friends, and having fun with friends."

How does Snap’s Dress Up Work?

When you access the Dress Up hub and choose an item, you'll be able to try it on using Snap's augmented reality glasses, but you'll also be able to snap a photo of how it looks and share it with others to receive their feedback. Dress Up will also include original material from creators and advice and ideas from marketers, all of which will change depending on your preferences, how you use the site, and even your location. And everything is available with only a touch or two.

The notion of augmented reality shopping may sound a little corny — how many times do you need to AR a sofa into your living room to ensure it fits? — nonetheless, Snap claims that it is gaining traction. Over 250 million people have seen AR shopping lenses more than 5 billion times, and Snap claims that the lenses convert a considerably larger proportion of potential customers than a standard advertisement. And Navas said that attractiveness stems from the notion that shopping is about more than simply acquiring. "While many people believe the purchasing funnel ends at the point of purchase," she said, "this is just the beginning of the consumer experience for a brand or store selling a product." She cited Too Faced cosmetics as an example of a firm that allows consumers to scan their new eyeshadow pallet with the Snapchat camera to learn how to apply it.


Featured image: Snapchat


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