Shawn Lim
May 30, 2022

Snap's APAC chief on AR's importance for brands’ commerce strategy

With over 75% of all smartphone users set to use AR daily by 2025, marketers are embedding AR into their marketing strategy, creating products that are automatically personalised to the individual shopper, says Kathryn Carter.

Shopping with AR
Shopping with AR

Since launching its augmented reality product Lenses for its users seven years ago, Snapchat’s owner Snap has been investing in AR for brands that are looking to capture shopping dollars.

Brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci have worked with Snap to allow users to try on their products virtually without having to step foot into their stores. Gucci claims it has achieved more than 20 million virtual try-ons of its latest sneakers with Snap’s AR Lenses.

Another brand, MAC Cosmetics, claims it saw 1.3 million try-on experiences from Snap users with their latest Lens of their lip and eye products.

At its annual Snap Partner Summit in April, Snap introduced features like 3D Asset Manager, Dress Up, and Camera Kit to help marketers create more AR experiences.

The 3D Asset Manager allows brands to request, manage, and optimize 3D models for any product in their catalogs, and Camera Kit allows commerce brands to host Snap’s camera for AR try-ons, on their apps and sites. Dress Up, meanwhile allows users to browse, discover, and share new looks from around the world. They also now can save their shopping preferences in their profile settings

“We are reimagining the Snapchatter try-on experience, which means for the first time, you can try on a new outfit without having to change your clothes. This new experience also benefits businesses. We know that for apparel retailers, creating 3D clothing assets, no matter how simple the workflow, can be challenging and expensive,” Kathryn Carter, the general manager for the Asia Pacific at Snap explains to Campaign Asia-Pacific.

“That is why we're introducing new technology, specifically for apparel. Now, retailers can leverage product images they already have in their catalogs. Using advanced AI, we segment the garment from their model photography, and prepare it for AR try-on Lenses, saving weeks of time, effort, and money.”

She adds: “Retailers and brands can now transform the shopping experience for their audience by integrating our software development kit, distributing digital try-on experiences everywhere their customers are.”

Carter believes the new features will strengthen Snap’s position as a “closed and curated platform” that focuses on real friends and vetted content. She explains every business needs a “camera strategy”, which means they need to establish a way to translate products into engaging AR experiences. 

 

Studies have shown that AR-guided purchases lead to a 25% decrease in returns, and interacting with products with AR has a 94% higher conversion rate.

 

“AR is changing how brands engage with their target audiences, especially Gen Z and millennials. Instead of passively viewing ads, audiences can choose to experience an ad that feels personal to them,” she explains.

 

“As Snapchat shoppers agree that AR gives them more confidence about product quality and people want a risk-free, “try before you buy” experience, we have been rapidly expanding our monetisation capabilities to cater to businesses of all shapes and sizes. We are now able to serve every single advertiser objective across the funnel.”

 

Aside from commerce, Snap previously introduced localised AR Lenses in South East Asia for holidays such as Chinese New Year, Thaipusam, Vesak Day, and Kartini Day as well as events such as the Java Jazz festival and Football Association of Malaysia matches against Thailand and Indonesia.

 

The platform has also participated in promotional offers and strategic partnerships with Vivo and telecom providers, including Indosat and Maxis.

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