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spotlight on snapchat

 Snapchat's Latest Bitmoji Fashion Options Could Help it Lead the Way in the Next Big eCommerce Shift

Could this help position Snapchat to lead the way on the next big eCommerce trend? This week, Snapchat has announced a new partnership with Levi's, which will enable users to dress up their Bitmoji avatars in classic Levi's outfits.

As explained by Snap: "The Levi’s x Bitmoji collection features timeless Levi’s pieces including the 501 Original Fit Jeans, Trucker Jackets, and Western Shirts, all available in multiple washes. Snapchatters and Bitmoji users can choose between 12 curated Levi’s outfits, or they can customize their look further with billions of unique ways to style the classic pieces." Snapchat added the capability to dress up your Bitmoji character in different outfits last year, which has since lead to partnerships with Ralph Lauren and Jordan, among others in creating Bitmoji clothing options.

 

 

Bitmoji characters are hugely popular in the app, with around 70% of Snapchat users engaging with the feature.

Given this, the option to dress up your custom character in different items of clothing, further aligning it with your personal preferences, has also proven to be a hit - and while seeing your avatar dressed up in new fashion outfits isn't the same as trying those clothes on for yourself, it does help to further brand affiliation, and align consumers with a brand identity.

But Snapchat's actually now able to go a step further - take a look at this tweet from Snapchat GM Matt McGowan.


Now, with Snapchat's full-body tracking tools, users can create life-sized versions of their Bitmoji characters, which they can overlay onto real-world scenes. 

It's not perfect - you can still see the person's real arms and legs overflowing slightly as they move. But it's another way to use Bitmoji characters, and Snap AR, to create a whole new experience. Which also helps to showcase the clothes that your Bitmoji is wearing, and could be a great way to increase brand awareness and connection.

Like all social platforms, Snapchat has been looking to merge into eCommerce of late, as a means to maximize its revenue potential, and increase user engagement.

Snap introduced its first 'shoppable' Snap Original shows back in June, and has been working with several brands on new eCommerce integrations, like scannable barcodes and logos and AR 'try on' options, like this integration with Gucci:

Snapchat AR Try on


With Facebook and Instagram now pushing their own eCommerce integrations, it makes sense for Snap to also follow suit, as those new activations will change consumer habits over time. Essentially, that means that consumers will eventually come to expect that they'll be able to buy whatever they see in the images and videos shared to their social feeds. The platforms that can best align with this will open up a range of new possibilities for their business tools. What's most interesting about Snap, however, is its focus on AR for such purpose, which is where many expect consumer attention to shift in the second half of 2021.

Snapchat's 'Lens Fest' AR Showcase Event Will

be Open to the Public Next Week (Dec 8-10)

Next week, Snapchat will host its first-ever public AR Festival, called 'Lens Fest', which will showcase the latest in AR developments, and celebrate the Lens Creator community.


All Lens Fest sessions will be hosted online (as is the way of 2020) and are free to anybody to attend.

As explained by Snap: "Lens Fest will be held in an immersive, interactive environment, letting attendees navigate to sessions, demonstrations, a library of tutorials, a gallery of Lens Creators, and more. Each day of Lens Fest will feature three core sessions to educate and inspire attendees, as well as a demonstration in Lens Studio, Snap’s free and public desktop application for any creator or developer to build augmented reality experiences for Snapchatters."

There'll certainly be some valuable insights available here - while Snapchat may not have access to the same resources for its AR tools as Facebook does, the company has consistently been able to come up with new, innovative uses for its AR features, which have brought more and more people back to the app.

This year, for example, Snapchat gained viral traction with its Anime face Lens, which was used more than 3 billion times in the first week after release.


Snap also launched new, shoppable AR try-on campaigns, which enable users to virtually test out new shoes and other items, while it's also expanded its AR scan function to more types of brand logos and bar codes, expanding the potential of its AR experiments.

But the biggest AR innovation from Snap in 2020 was its 'City Painter' collaborative AR project, which enables users to virtually paint Carnaby Street in London, with their creations then remaining in place for other Snapchatters to see.


That points to the next stage of more immersive AR, which could be enabled through fully functional AR glasses - which Snap may be developing as the next phase for its Spectacles device. Or it could be working with Apple on its AR glasses, which are also set for release in 2021-22. Snap's been working with Apple for years on its AR tools for the iPhone, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Snap and Apple working together on new, consumer-friendly AR wearables in future.

Either way, AR is clearly an important element in Snapchat's evolution, and as such, its Lens Fest could provide a range of valuable insight and information on what's coming next. Lens Fest begins on Tuesday, December 8th at 8am PT. You can read more about the sessions, and register to attend, here.

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