By Farimah Moeini, head of industry – retail, eCommerce, travel tourism in MENA, Snap Inc.
The upcoming shopping season promises plenty of opportunities for retailers to generate brand awareness and drive sales and revenue. At the same time, it brings new realities that eCommerce companies should be aware of and ready to address. First, inflation has squeezed incomes and sparked cautious spending among shoppers. Additionally, always-on shopping and year-long deals have minimized the holiday season’s importance for retail. That is why every conversion counts this season.
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Time to up your mobile strategy
A recent survey by research firm Alter Agents commissioned by Snap revealed that shopping behaviors, for instance, in markets like Saudi Arabia have pivoted sharply towards online and mobile. But most online retailers have not upgraded their mobile platforms – shoppers are still faced with rows of dull still images and plain text on shopping webpages.
Customers today want an online shopping experience that reflects the joy of discovery and fitting room experiences of physical stores. This is where augmented reality excels. Snapchat has been refining the AR experience for more than six years, which is why 85 percent of Snapchatters use AR daily. Our recent study with IPSOS indicates that interacting with products through AR results in a 94 percent higher conversion rate. Previous research and existing performance reports show that when retailers ran campaigns in October and November using try-on AR on Snapchat, they were able to deliver a 13X higher average purchase value than the average. For example, Faces, the leading beauty omni-channel retailer, partnered with Snapchat to deliver a smart go-to-market strategy during their Pink Friday in Saudi Arabia. Leveraging the power of AR, the campaign results were remarkable, achieving 1.8x higher Ad Awareness amongst female Snapchatters and delivering 9x ROAS.
Choosing the right platform
A fragmented shopping experience is frustrating and likely to drive customers away. Snapchat streamlines shopping by condensing the entire buying process to only five tabs, from discovery to conversion.
The experience begins with the Snap Camera, a powerful tool for visual communication and AR experiences. The Snap Camera represents the company’s most significant opportunity to improve how people live and communicate through visual self-expression and storytelling, whether through mobile video, communication, AR, gaming, or mobile marketing and commerce.
Second is Snap’s focus on visual messaging, a fast and fun way to communicate with friends. Chats on Snapchat disappear automatically, just like real-life conversations. Therefore, the shopping and product recommendation is similar to how friends shop together.
Snapchat has also made it easy for Snapchatters to meet friends, discover new events and store experiences through the Snap Map. The interactive map lets Snapchatters share their location with their friends, as well as see Snaps of events, breaking news and more from around the world.
Stories and Discover are where Snapchatters stay connected with whom they care about the most. They are also where shoppers discover brands’ profiles and virtual stores. Our research shows that 56% of Snapchatters discover new and existing brand offers on Snapchat.
Finally, our Spotlight platform showcases the creative talent of the Snapchat community, helping people discover new creators and content that matter to them, whether it’s through amplifying your creators’ content, your Snapchat brand profile or even through video ads.
These factors encourage shoppers to engage with brands in an immersive way and therefore drive attention and retention. During a season when every brand is competing for the customer’s attention, Snapchat’s highly immersive content can accelerate shoppers’ decision making from discovery to conversion.
With the right mobile and AR strategy, retailers can tap into the Snapchat generation that commands more than $900bn in spending power annually in Saudi Arabia alone. Every month, Snapchatters spend 1.6x (KSA) and 1.4x (UAE) more on leisure activities, fashion, beauty, dining, and entertainment than non-Snapchatters. Overall, Snapchat delivers 1.2x the return compared to other social platforms.
As the inspiration destination for shoppers, it shouldn’t be surprising that Snapchat is a leading platform for sharing purchases and other shopping content. Snapchatters want to know what their friends are buying and look for new brands that match their style and values. As a brand, the culture of continuous sharing on Snapchat means that your campaign reaches not only one Snapchatter, but their entire group of friends as they connect throughout the day.