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:
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.
Facebook says that its AR glasses will be made available to the public next year, and Apple is also working on AR wearables. Given this, Snapchat could actually be at the forefront of this next stage with these new features, despite the fact that Facebook looks likely to lead the charge in taking that next step.
That could better position Snapchat as the AR leader, and if Snap can also find a way to convert its camera-equipped Spectacles into a full AR-enabled device, that could put it in a good position to challenge the big players in the AR/eCommerce shift.
And that shift will be big. Right now, it may seem like a novelty, an interesting addition, it may seem like a bit of a gimmick to be able to dress up your Bitmoji avatar in brand name clothing. But this could be a significant development, and it could help Snap evolve with the next phase of consumer activity.
New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat’s Coming ‘Family Center’ Will Work
Snapchat’s parental control options look close to launch, with new screenshots based on back-end code showing how Snap’s coming ‘Family Center’ will look in the app.
As you can see in these images, shared by app intelligence company Watchful (via TechCrunch), the Family Center will enable parents to see who their child is engaging with in the app, along with who they’ve added, who they’re following, etc.
That could provide a new level of assurance for parents – though it could also be problematic for Snap, which has become a key resource for more private, intimate connection, with its anti-public posting ethos, and disappearing messages, helping to cement its place as an alternative to other social apps.
That’s really how Snap has embedded its niche. While other apps are about broadcasting your life to the wider world, Snap is about connecting with a small group of friends, where you can share your more private, secret thoughts, without concern of them living on forever, and coming back to bite you at a later stage.
That also, of course, means that more questionable, dangerous communications are happening in the app. Various reports have investigated how Snap is used for sending lewd messages, and arranging hook-ups, while drug dealers reportedly now use Snap to organize meet-ups and sales.
Which, of course, is why parents will be keen to get more insight into such, but I can’t imagine Snap users will be so welcoming of an intrusive tool in this respect.
But if parents know that it exists, they may have to, and that could be problematic for Snap. Teen users will need to accept their parents’ invitation to enable Family Center monitoring, but you can see how this could become an issue for many younger users in the app.
Still, the protective benefits may well be worth it, with random hook-ups and other engagements posing significant risks. And with kids as young as 13 able to create a Snapchat account, there are many vulnerable youngsters engaging in the app.
But it could reduce Snap’s appeal, as more parents become aware of the tool.
Snapchat hasn’t provided any further insight into the new Family Center, or when it will be released, but it looks close to launch based on these images.
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