Snapchat Partners with Amazon Fashion for AR-Based Eyewear Retail [Interview]

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Snapchat has launched a new partnership with Amazon Fashion to bring the social media platform’s reach to the world of Augmented Reality (AR) when it comes to eyewear products through the retail giant.

Matt McGowan

The new Snapchat try-on Lenses feature thousands of Amazon Fashion’s popular Virtual Try-On Eyewear products, enabling Amazon brands to leverage their Amazon AR assets and showcase styles in a fun, interactive experience to millions of Snapchatters. Customers will be able to explore, shop and digitally try-on thousands of eyewear styles directly on Snapchat and then seamlessly purchase in the Amazon Fashion store.

Snap Canada’s GM Matt McGowan said the partnership is built on the fact that more than 250 million people are engaging on Snapchat with AR every day.

“The consumer, the shopper, is finding a lot of utility with AR on Snapchat and across our peer set and in just in general. Snap and Amazon Fashion came together and specifically at the moment with respect to glasses. The decision was made to kind of partner up. Amazon Fashion using the Snapchat Augmented Reality Tools and basically just offering this experience to Snapchatters,” he said. 

Image: Snap

In a recent survey Snapchat did with Ipsos, it found that 90 per cent of brands think AR is primarily for fun while only 55 per cent of consumers think of it this way. 

According to the 2021 Global Deloitte Digital Study, it’s estimated by 2025 that about 75 per cent of the Canadian population and almost all people who use social/communication apps will be frequent users of AR.

“At Snap we’ve seen success kind of beyond eyecare and there’s definitive intention to expand the relationship with (Amazon Fashion) beyond eyewear,” said McGowan.

Snapchat said it sees over six billion AR Lens plays every day.

Dr. Muge Erdirik Dogan

“Amazon Fashion is always looking for new ways to collaborate with brands and create fun, innovative shopping experiences for customers,” said Muge Erdirik Dogan, president of Amazon Fashion. “Millions of customers regularly use Amazon’s AR shopping technology across categories in our stores, with Virtual Try-On for Eyewear being a long-time customer favorite. We are delighted to partner with Snapchat and further expand AR shopping for both fashion brands and today’s new generation of digital shoppers.”

Image: Amazon x Snapchat

In the past year, Amazon Fashion customers ordered more than one billion fashion items on mobile devices. The growing Snapchat community of 363 million daily active users now have access to Amazon’s popular eyewear brands, including Maui Jim, Persol, Oakley, and Costa Del Mar, among others. Eyewear is the first VTO Shopping Lens category for the Amazon and Snap partnership, and the companies plan to expand into additional verticals in the future.

McGowan said Snapchat has been pioneering Augmented Reality experiences for more than five years within its own community. He said there are about 12 million Gen Z and early Millennials on the platform in Canada. 

He said AR has helped make visual communication more seamless. 

“Companies, and now the world’s largest retailer is leaning in, because what we’re finding is that forward-thinking companies are starting to realize that AR can help bridge the gap and help a consumer feel better about buying something online,” he said, adding that while glasses may look good in a picture, it’s not until a person can try them on to determine whether they look good on them.

“In a virtual world, it’s hard to try things on. You can’t really bop into the store. So AR is that bridge in an e-commerce first world that is helping the consumer feel better about the products they’re buying and making sure they look the right way, making sure they fit. We’ve been able to communicate these insights back to our partners and clients and our advertisers. Amazon’s getting it and they’re going all in on this. And we’re starting here with the full intention of looking at all their fashion.”

Image: Snap

To create a seamless shopping experience, officials said Amazon and Snap partnered to establish 3D asset standards, enabling Amazon’s extensive library of assets to be easily integrated with Snap’s AR Try-On Technology. For this partnership, Amazon’s 3D Asset technology, a service that can be extended to industry partners, works with Snap’s Lenses to allow 3D assets and product information to be shared, as well as dynamically updated, providing shoppers up-to-date selection, product details, and availability.

“With the combined innovation and technology between Snap and Amazon, we are unlocking exciting and fun new try-on experiences for hundreds of millions of Snapchatters. AR eyewear is just the first step in our partnership, and we can’t wait to continue our innovation together,” said Ben Schwerin, SVP of Partnerships, Snap Inc. 

The Shopping Lenses will be available through @amazonfashion’s Public Profile on Snapchat, in Snap’s Lens Explorer across the For You and Dress Up tabs, as well as in the Snapchat Camera Lens Carousel. Snapchatters can also browse additional products directly within the Amazon Fashion ‘store’ tab on the @amazonfashion profile on Snapchat, allowing customers to review thousands of products with the option to seamlessly link out to Amazon to purchase. 

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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