Snapchat Takes a Leap into E-Commerce
Business + Economy

Snapchat Takes a Leap into E-Commerce

See a snap of a dress or belt you like? Soon you might be able to purchase it right off of Snapchat.

Snapchat is the latest social media giant to push into e-commerce, partnering with ShopStyle, a fashion site owned by online network PopSugar, and five well-known fashion bloggers along with e-retailer FarFetch for a five-day test run that ended June 27.

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Users who added the bloggers to their SnapChat contact list could view their stories and then follow a link to ShopStyle, where they were able to buy the items they had seen.

The five bloggers were Jacey Duprie (@damselindior on Snapchat), Natalie Suarez (@natalieoffduty), Geri Hirsch (@gerihirsch), Courtney Trop (@always_judging) and Christine Andrew (@hellofashblog).

ShopStyle Executive Vice President Melissa Davis credits the test to the more than 10,000 fashion influencers — mostly Instagram users and bloggers — on ShopStyle who use Snapchat but wanted a way to make money from it when they highlighted products or apparel. “We really wanted to come up with a solution that they really enjoyed, they could use their influence, have fun, but also continue their business,” Davis says.

Already boasting an active Twitter following, Duprie thinks the new platform is long overdue. “[Readers] are constantly on Twitter and Instagram asking me about different products I’m wearing and sharing so I thought this would be a good opportunity to test out a way to make it easier for followers to find out,” says Duprie. 

Andrew emphasizes how little effort you have to put into one Snap compared with an Instagram post. “It's raw and un-curated, half the time I don't have make up on and you see the unedited raw moments of my life,” Andrew said. “I don't worry about lighting and backgrounds because it's gone in 24 hours — versus Instagram I try to make the pictures flow and feel unified.”

ShopStyle declined to provide details about how the trial went, and Snapchat did not respond to requests for comment. But while some items were quickly marked as “Sold Out,” Davis acknowledged that there’s still room to improve the experience for users, who had to exit the Snapchat app in order to visit the ShopStyle site and purchase an item. “We would love to make [the transition] more seamless,” she said, noting that it was just ShopStyle’s first foray into Snapchat commerce.

One other potential pitfall could be that the fashion bloggers usually promote higher-end items, while the majority of Snapchat users are between 18 and 24 and most likely don’t have the budget for pricey purchases.

Davis acknowledged that while e-retailer FarFetch, for example, does tend to sell more luxury items, she doesn’t see that as a problem. “These influencers, regardless of age, have a lot of clout and a lot of influence within the fashion and style world, so I think people are genuinely interested in what they’re wearing regardless of price point,” she said.

If the trial is any indication, you can expect to see plenty more efforts at integrating e-commerce into your snapping.

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