Snapchat wants its new lenses to spark virtual shopping sprees

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SnapchatInvestments in e-commerce flavored augmented reality are beginning to roll out to users, starting with a set of Lenses.

Launch today, Business goals will allow users to do a virtual product demonstration of two makeup brands: Ultimate Beauty and MAC Cosmetics. Both brands have been beta testing the lenses with Snapchat for the past few months.

Like Snapchat’s other lenses, the purchasable ones use augmented reality to place digital objects in the meat space. In this case, the lenses will display things like lipsticks and eye shadows on users’ faces in real time, so they can get an idea of ​​what specific shades will look like IRL.

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Shopping lenses will allow users to switch between products and will display product prices, available colors and/or sizes, and recommendations for similar items from the same retailer, Snapchat said.

For now, users can only try products from Ulta and MAC, but Snapchat said in the coming months it will add more brands, and also noted that it wants Shopping Lenses to cover the non-cosmetic category products, including clothing, accessories and footwear.

Snapchat is also rolling out an e-commerce AR update on the brand side.

Through Tech Crunchit now offers instant data and analytics to brands that use shopping lenses, as the lenses are directly linked to companies’ product catalogs and can therefore show exactly the level of product engagement and sales volume of the lenses . conduct.

These analytics were also part of Snapchat’s Shopping Lens beta test. According to the platform, the lenses generated $6 million in total sales for Ulta, and during a two-week test period, Ulta saw 30 million unique product trials. MAC, meanwhile, saw 1.3 million fittings (timeframe not specified) and said it saw a 17x increase in purchases among women.

Snapchat isn’t the first to experiment with this kind of e-commerce functionality. Youtube launched something similar in 2019, working with parent company AI technology google to introduce advertisements allowing users to virtually try on lipsticks from brands such as Estee Lauder. But while YouTube was ahead of the game, it doesn’t appear to have expanded its digital demonstration efforts; instead, it focused on other e-commerce options, like purchasable live streams (which, to be fair, are potentially on the verge of becoming a major thing in the US).

Snapchat is unlikely to continue in the same way, especially since it spent $500 million to acquire an AR company WaveOptics not so long ago.

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