Shopper Experience

AR shopping is about to get even bigger on Snapchat

Snap's latest tools enable brands and users to curate augmented reality experiences.

Stills of Puma features in Snap AR

Puma is an early adopter of Snap's Camera Kit. (Photo by Snap)

Snap is rolling out a new line of tools designed to bring more products into augmented reality.

At the Snap Partner Summit on Thursday, shopping tools for Snapchat played a prominent role in the new announcements made by the Los Angeles-based company.

Snapchat’s camera capabilities have long made the social media platform a leader in augmented reality. In turn, the company is leveraging AR to grow shopping features, offering the equivalent of a mirror at the mall in social media form. One milestone came earlier this year, when it rolled out tools such as AR Shopping Lenses that allow users to get a taste of what they would look like in a brand's items through images of products superimposed on their likeness. With a big audience on the platform and cameras built-in, it's at the forefront of platforms transforming the try-on, and making social media more shoppable in the meantime.

With this week’s launch, it has a new slate of tools that allow brands and retailers to add to the available items and create new augmented reality experiences, both on Snapchat and, with one feature, within their own ecommerce marketplaces. Here’s a quick rundown:

Dress Up

Snap has a new home for augmented reality shopping for users within its app. Dress Up offers a dedicated destination to browse and try on looks from brands, retailers and creators. This is currently available through Lens Explorer, and will soon appear near the camera in navigation. Snap is also creating space for shopping on its profile pages, where users can return to looks they have favorited or added to a cart.

3D Asset Manager

This is a web content management platform that allows businesses to “request, approve and optimize” 3D models for any product in their shopping catalog, Snap states. This feature also has sharing capabilities that allow retailers and brands to approve 3D models from other brands that are already in Snap’s asset management system.

AR Image Processing

This technology, developed by Forma, offers a way to turn existing product photos into augmented reality-read assets for Snapchat’s Lens experience. Snap describes the steps like this:

Step 1: Partners upload their existing product photography for product SKUs they currently sell on their websites.
Step 2: Product photography is processed with a deep-learning module that transforms retailer’s photography into AR Image assets.
Step 3: Businesses can then select SKUs with AR Image Assets to create try-on Lenses using new templates in a simple web interface.

AR Shopping Templates

Now in beta, this feature is designed to allow brands to import assets and create AR experiences, without having any prior AR skills. It expands a capability that was previously available for beauty brands to apparel, eyewear and footwear. Snap will also expand into furniture and handbags, allowing items in AR to be placed on a surface.

Camera Kit for AR Shopping

This software development kit allows brands and retailers to bring Snap’s AR try-on capabilities to their product detail pages. Available for mobile devices and soon on websites, Puma will be the first brand to use this tool to integrate its Snap experience on to its own website.

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