Market Trends

Written by The Marketing Team July 16, 2018

Snapchat & Facebook making moves in e-commerce: what you need to know

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Snapchat-visual-searchNews surfaced last week that Snapchat is building out a visual search feature within its app. Yet to be confirmed by Snapchat, code within the android app seems to suggest a partnership with Amazon on a visual product search feature.

In a move that could see Snapchat diving headlong into e-commerce, it’s likely the feature will use the in-app camera to identify objects and barcodes and then allow users to purchase those specific products on Amazon.

The ramifications for product discoverability, as well as advertising on Snapchat, are massive. And the potential partnership with Amazon shows that Snapchat is not messing around.

We discussed this topic and more in a recent episode of our weekly Facebook Live.

Similar to Pinterest Lens?

pinterestIt is thought that the new feature could have similar functionality to the Pinterest Lens product, which allows users to search using an in-app camera and then suggests content related to the objects it identifies. The 2017 launch of Lens saw Pinterest go full steam ahead into visual search, and the feature now facilitates 600 million visual searches each month, up 140% year-over-year (YoY). Pinterest users in the U.S. can also Shop the Look from brands including CB2, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Wayfair. Pinterest also has a couple of US retail heavy-hitters in its corner, having signed deals with Home Depot and Target.

A boost for ad targeting

With a younger audience than Pinterest, Snapchat has the opportunity to grow visual search within an audience that may not have had much exposure to practical AR. As the camera company they are well placed to own this technology and drive it forward for their predominantly young user base.

A well-adopted visual search tool would also be a major boost for Snapchat advertisers, with the potential to provide data on users’ interests that could be used for ad targeting. Snapchat will hope that it’s users see value in the ease of use of visual search, which would allow them to easily discover and purchase products they come across in their daily lives.

Facebook also making big moves in e-commerce

Facebook has also recently made some major plays in the e-commerce space, aimed at making the purchase experience a more seamless part of their in-app UX.

Instagram Shopping Tags

superetteThis new feature, now available to businesses in 9 markets including France, the US, Australia and the UK, enables advertisers to add price and description tags to specific items in any Instagram image. When clicked, these tags take the user through to a product landing page to purchase that item. Since Instagram is a place of inspiration, this feature takes away the need for users to have to manually search for products they like the look of. The value of such a feature is compounded by the fact that more than 200 million of Instagram’s users visit at least one business profile in the app every day.


Augmented Reality Ads in Facebook news feed

Facebook announced last week that they had begun testing AR ads in the News Feed. Facebook partnered with Michael Kors to test the new Augmented Reality experience, which has also been available to some brands in Facebook Messenger since May. The addition of AR experiences to ads within News Feed should continue the upwards trend in engagement which has already been seen with AR ads in Messenger. One brand who has had particularly big success is the smartphone company ASUS, who saw over 10 times more engagement with Messenger ads that contained AR than those without it.

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