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Snapchat is continuing to make moves to introduce more ecommerce into the app, especially as it seeks to harness its augmented reality-ready camera and Lens feature as a virtual try-on feature for users to explore new products.
It means there are growing ways for brands and retailers to engage on the visual messaging app. With 363 million users and a reach that extends to 75% of Gen Z and millennials in over 20 countries, Snapchat is home to an audience that many want to reach.
On Wednesday, the social media company announced a pair of new partnerships with ecommerce platforms that will make it easier for brands and retailers to reach those users, and make their products visible on the platform.
Here’s a look:
Virtual try-on for eyewear with Amazon Fashion
Virtual try-on tools for Amazon products will be accessible to Snapchat’s user base through a new partnership between the two companies.
Through a new partnership, Snapchat users will be able to use Shopping Lens to try on eyewear from brands available on Amazon, such as Maui Jim, Persol, Oakley, and Costa Del Mar. The feature uses Snap's camera to overlay an image of the glasses on to the photo likeness of a users. There will also be a path for Snapchat users to purchase products they test from the Amazon Fashion store.
“Amazon Fashion is always looking for new ways to collaborate with brands and create fun, innovative shopping experiences for customers,” says Muge Erdirik Dogan, president of Amazon Fashion, in a statement. “Millions of customers regularly use Amazon’s AR shopping technology across categories in our stores, with Virtual Try-On for Eyewear being a long-time customer favorite."
Both companies already had augmented reality tools before linking up. Amazon has its own virtual-try on and Snap has rolled out more AR-based features over the last couple of years. Now, Amazon’s 3D Asset technology and Snap’s Lenses are being integrated. This allows 3D assets and product information to be shared, as well as dynamically updated. The companies teamed up to create 3D asset standards, which integrated the tools.
The Shopping Lenses will be available through Amazon Fashion’s public Snapchat profile, in Snap’s Lens Explorer across the For You and Dress Up tabs and the Snapchat Camera Lens Carousel, the company said.
The companies said they plan to expand the partnership to additional verticals, but it’s notable that they chose eyewear. Warby Parker was a pioneer in virtual try-on with its own tool to test glasses, so it’s fitting that a new partnership is starting through this lens.
Snap recently made a series of product-level upgrades to make AR shopping more prevalent on the platform. Given Amazon's massive assortment, has the potential to meaningfully grow the catalog of products available on the app.
BigCommerce adds Snapchat integration
Snapchat integrates with BigCommerce. (Courtesy photo)
A new partnership for BigCommerce is opening up a way for merchants that run stores on the SaaS ecommerce platform to integrate their stores with Snapchat.
This provides the opportunity to sync product catalogs and create Snapchat ad campaigns. Snapchat said merchants can access ad formats that are made for ecommerce. They can also place the Snap Pixel to track conversions and measures results, or use Pixel Custom Audiences to build retargeting campaigns.
“Giving merchants access to Snapchat’s unique audience of 363 million daily active users opens up incredible opportunities for them to tap into a younger generation of influencers that master impacting a consumer's purchasing decision,” said Sharon Gee, vice president of revenue growth and general manager of omnichannel at BigCommerce. "For BigCommerce, Snap’s partnership broadens our direct integrations portfolio for omnichannel merchants on the BigCommerce platform, providing access to top performing social, search and marketplace channels from a single platform to sell more and increase revenue.”
Gee continued, “Furthermore, this partnership provides unique benefits to our ecosystem of Omnichannel Certified Partners for merchants on any ecommerce platform via Feedonomics to drive return ad on spend and improve performance on hundreds of growth channels.”
BigCommerce said its tools are used by “tens of thousands” B2C and B2B brands to create online stores, including Ben & Jerry’s, Molton Brown, S.C. Johnson, Skullcandy, Solo Stove, Ted Baker and Vodafone.
Trending in Retail Channels
Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”