At Snap’s Partner Summit on Thursday, the Snapchat creator announced a number of new initiatives aimed at using its AR technology to aid in online shopping. Notably, the company is introducing a new in-app destination within Snapchat called “Dress Up,” which will feature AR fashion and virtual try-on experiences, and is launching tools that allow retailers to integrate Snapchat’s AR shopping technology within their own. websites and apps, among other updates designed to ease the process of creating AR assets.
The company has made strides with AR-powered e-commerce in the past year, after giving the computer vision-based “Scan” feature more prominent place in the Camera portion of the app and upgrading it with commerce capabilities. Earlier in 2022, Snap also introduced support for real-time pricing and product details to improve its AR store listings.
These improvements have led to greater consumer engagement with AR commerce, Snap says. Since January 2021, more than 250 million Snapchat users have used AR shopping lenses more than 5 billion times, the company notes.
Snap announced today that it will put AR technology directly into the hands of retailers by enabling them to leverage Snap’s AR try-on technology in their own mobile apps and websites, with Camera Kit for AR Shopping.
This AR SDK (Software Development Kit) brings cataloged store lenses to the retailer’s own product pages, allowing their customers to virtually try on their clothes, accessories, shoes, and more. At launch, the feature will work on iOS and Android apps, but Snap says it will work on websites “soon”.
The first global partner to adopt the technology is Puma, which allows shoppers to virtually try on their sneakers using the Camera Kit integration. Shoppers would simply point their phones at their feet to see the sneakers they’re considering appearing in an AR display.
Retailers will also gain access to a new AR image processing technology in Snap’s 3D asset management, which Snap says will make it easier and faster to build augmented reality shopping experiences. A web interface allows brands to select their product SKUs and then convert them into Shopping Lenses so they can create new Lenses in seconds at no additional cost, Snap claims.
To do this, partners will upload their existing product photography for the SKUs they sell, which will then process Snap’s technology using an in-depth learning module that turns them into AR Image assets. This process uses AI to segment the garment from the brand’s model photography, essentially turning standard photos into AR assets.
These resources can then be used to create new trial lenses that can be used by home shoppers taking a full-body selfie.
The company is also adding new AR Shopping templates to its Lens Web Builder to help convert those assets into Lense faster, without needing to understand AR development. Selected partners in apparel, eyewear and footwear can try this out in beta today, and Snap will expand the feature to furniture and handbags later.
Related to this, Snap is giving AR shopping a bigger place within its own consumer app.
Snapchat is introducing a new in-app destination called “Dress Up” where users can browse in one place and discover new trial experiences from creators, retailers and fashion brands. “Dress Up” will be available first in Lens Explorer, but will soon be added with one tap away from the camera in the AR bar.
Users can return to outfits and other products they liked by going from their profile to a new store section, where they can view the items they favorite, recently viewed and added to a cart.
As another example, Snap says that Zenni Optical’s AR lenses have been tried more than 60 million times by users, and that lenses using Snap’s “actual size” technology delivered a 42% higher return on ad spend. compared to lenses without the feature.
Finally, on the virtual fashion front, Snap’s Bitmoji is also getting an update. More than 1 billion of these mini avatars have now been created, which people love to dress up in virtual fashion items. Snap says fashion brand partners can now drop “Limited Edition” fashion items for Bitmoji exclusively for Snapchat users.