Snap users are already quite familiar with the company’s expertise in AR thanks to Lenses and Filters. Now, the social media company is unveiling AR Enterprise Services (ARES) to offer those tools to businesses. As part of the launch, Snap is offering a “Shopping Suite” to brands that can help them get more customers.
The company said that more than 250 million people engage with AR on the platform every day. For comparison, Snapchat has 375 million daily active users. Last year, it claimed that since January 2021 users have tried shopping-related AR lenses more than 5 billion times. The company didn’t provide an updated figure.
The company’s partners use AR Lenses to let people try on different apparel and accessories. They include Amazon and Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.
Snap’s new Shopping Suite SaaS product offers four features: AR try-on to virtually try new styles of clothing, footwear and accessories (users can also upload an image of themselves and see how these items might look on them); 3D viewer to look at a product from all angles; fit and sizing recommendation tech based on the users’ body shapes; and enterprise manager to host and manage all digital assets, create AR experiences using Snap’s SDK and look at performance analytics… as well as help from the Snap’s team to customize client’s solutions.
Companies can integrate these features directly into their apps or websites, so customers can engage with them while checking out products.
The social media platform has been building up to this for a while. In 2021, it acquired Fit Analytics, a startup that helped customers find the right size of apparel and footwear from online retailers. The same year, it added commerce-related features to its AR Lens creator studio. In April 2022, Snap introduced tools for virtual try-on and converting images into 3D assets. These were made possible by Snap’s acquisitions of Forma and Vertebrae. It also launched the Lens Cloud back-end service for lens developers. Now, the company is combining all this into a package for enterprise customers.
“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,” Jill Popelka, head of AR Enterprise Services at Snap, said in a statement.
Snap has been testing the SaaS offering with some customers already. These include sunglasses seller Goodr, clothing company Princess Polly and Mongolian manufacturer Gobi Cashmere. Snap claimed these retailers have seen higher conversion rates, better engagement with products and lower return rates.
The company’s results for Q4 2022 showed that revenue was flat year-over-year and it registered a net loss as compared to a profitable quarter in Q4 2021. The company has been taking steps to return to a cash flow-positive state with different monetization strategies. Last June, it launched the Snapchat+ subscription plan, which now has more than 2 million paid users.
Snap is buoyant about its enterprise offerings. The company quoted a survey saying 92% of Gen Z users are comfortable using AR shopping features. A combined study from Publics media and Snap suggests that the AR Retail market will have a project value of $1.2 trillion by 2030.