Snap introduces Snap Ramadan Mall, an AR-powered virtual mall in the MENA region

Snapchat’s new virtual mall provides a true-to-life retail experience in partnership with leading brands such as L’Oreal, Al Futtaim- IKEA, Namshi and Samsung.

Consumers this Ramadan will be able to browse their favourite products through a unique shopping experience powered by the launch of Snapchat’s first-ever augmented reality (AR) led virtual mall in the MENA region. The virtual mall will feature some of the region’s most popular consumer brands, such as L’Oreal, AL Futtaim- IKEA, Namshi and Samsung.

Offering an immersive multi-brand shopping experience, the virtual mall is accessed via a Snapchat World Lens through the platform’s outward-facing camera.

With the World Lens, shoppers will be able to browse virtual stores of the participating brands, viewing and exploring products that they can then purchase through each brand’s e-commerce site.

The virtual mall Lens can be accessed through the Lens carousel on the home camera screen. Brand store Lenses will also be accessible alongside the organic Lenses on Snapchat’s Lens Explorer tab.

The virtual mall offers retailers a unique opportunity to use the power of Snapchat’s Augmented Reality capabilities to provide consumers with the immersive and engaging shopping experience they are looking for. Peak retail periods such as Ramadan draw attention to the power of AR and its popularity with consumers while delivering on brand sales expectations. Last year, Ramadan campaigns for retailers running an AR Lens on Snapchat delivered a 4.3x higher average purchase value compared to other formats.

Jake Thomas, Head of UAE at Snap Inc. said, “Snapchatters in the region are seeking inspiration for their shopping experience this Ramadan. Today, shoppers want an experience that is more than just transactional. While they expect the convenience and efficiency of online shopping, they also want a true-to-life, in-store experience. AR caters to this need when accessed through universally available and always-on mobile devices – a game-changer for both retailers and shoppers.

Our virtual mall is the perfect platform for this, bridging the gap between the digital and physical world and offering consumers and brands the opportunity to explore the potential of digital commerce. Catering to consumers’ needs during Ramadan, Snapchatters can browse from beauty and apparel, home and design and electronics brands at any time, wherever they happen to be. We are confident that Snapchatters will enjoy this unique offering and explore some of the leading brands we have on board.”

The virtual mall highlights Snapchat’s AR evolution and how this technology can provide both utility and depth of engagement to consumers and brands alike.