Snapchat is bringing its augmented reality (AR) capabilities to large enterprise firms with the promise of helping them acquire more customers.
The social media platform’s AR capabilities are today widely accessible through Lenses and Filters, with more than 250 million users leveraging them on a daily basis.
Since January 2021, Snap users have experimented with shopping-related AR lenses more than 5 billion times, leveraging the technology to try out clothing and accessories sold on Amazon, Flipkart and other shopping platforms.
Snap is now bringing these capabilities to enterprise customers as part of its AR Enterprise Services (ARES).
The company’s SaaS product offers four key functionalities. The first is an AR try-on, which allows users to virtually test out various clothing, footwear, and accessory styles (they may also upload an image of themselves to see how the items might appear on them). The second is a 3D viewer that displays the product from all angles. The third is a fit and sizing recommendation technology, which is based on the user’s body shape. And the fourth is the enterprise manager, which enables the hosting and managing of all digital assets, the creation of AR experiences using Snap’s SDK, and access to performance analytics. Additionally, Snap’s team provides assistance to personalize clients’ solutions.
Businesses now have the option to incorporate these characteristics directly into their applications or websites, enabling patrons to interact with them during the product checkout process.
The rollout follows Snap’s 2021 acquisition of Fit Analytics, a startup that assisted online shoppers in discovering the ideal size of clothes and shoes. It later expanded its AR Lens creator studio with commerce-related features. In April 2022, Snap launched virtual try-on tools and image-to-3D asset conversion capabilities, made possible by acquiring Forma and Vertebrae. The company also introduced the Lens Cloud back-end service to support lens developers.
Snap is now bundling all of these services into a package for its corporate clients.
“Over the last decade, we’ve been hard at work bringing fun and personal AR experiences to Snapchatters. In the next decade, we’re excited to take our world-class AR technology to business’ websites and apps. We look forward to making the shopping experience more delightful for consumers and transforming businesses around the world with AR Enterprise Services,” said Jill Popelka, head of AR enterprise services at Snap.
Snap has already begun experimenting with its SaaS product among select customers. These clients comprise eyewear vendor Goodr, fashion brand Princess Polly, and Mongolian producer Gobi Cashmere. Snap asserts that these retailers have witnessed increased conversion rates, more profound product engagement, and lower return rates.
In Q4 2022, the company’s earnings demonstrated flat revenue compared to the previous year, and it reported a net loss after a profitable Q4 2021. To restore positive cash flow, the firm has implemented various monetization tactics, including unveiling its Snapchat+ subscription, which reportedly amassed over 2 million paying subscribers.
That said, Snap is optimistic about its enterprise solutions, as 92% of Gen Z users are reportedly at ease with utilizing AR shopping functionalities. Moreover, a joint study by Publics Media and Snap predicts that the AR Retail market is expected to be worth $1.2 trillion by 2030.
Photo credit: Snap