Snapchat expands Shoppable AR to its top creators


In late June, Snapchat opened native commerce to top creators like Kylie Jenner. Now, the platform is letting creators go beyond using “Shop now” buttons in their Stories and letting them use AR Lenses to do the same, starting with Nicki Minaj.

On Friday, to promote her new album “Queen,” Minaj launched an AR Lens with a Shop button. When users tap a button, a page appears in the app where they can buy her $25 “Queen” necklace.

The move is the latest effort by Snapchat to win over creators. In July, after offering commerce solutions to top creators, Snapchat let them make their own sticker packs and launched Storytellers, a program that connects brands with creators for ad campaigns. Rival Instagram also has been vying for creators’ attention by adding features like IGTV and commerce. The news comes days after Snap’s second-quarter earnings in which Snapchat reported its daily active users shrunk to 188 million daily active users from the 191 million it had last quarter.

Beyond Jenner, the Dolan Twins, Daquan, Cody Ko, David Dobrik and RIPNDIP have experimented with native commerce in Snapchat, adding shop buttons to their Snapchat Stories. But the Shoppable AR Lens feature, which appears in the Snapchat camera, is more accessible and engaging than creators’ vanishing Stories. Over 70 million people play with AR Lenses on Snapchat per day with the average time spent at three minutes, according to Snapchat.

Minaj is also the first to partner with Snap to try native shoppable AR. Companies like Adidas, Amazon, Coty and Domino’s have run ads with the feature since it launched in April, but users had to click over to a website to buy. With native commerce, the user can buy within the app.

Nicki Minaj’s Queen-themed Snapchat Lens


The necklace product page in Snapchat

Snapchat wants the platform to be a place for buying, just like other platforms doing ecommerce. Snapchat has made the Shoppable AR Lens feature applicable for downloading apps and viewing movie trailers on top of buying merchandise. Marketers or creators can use the Snap Pixel, which was released in June, to track purchases made after users play with an AR Lens.

Snapchat wouldn’t comment on the financial terms around the partnership with Minaj, but generally, any creator can use Snapchat’s Lens Studio for free to create AR Lens. There is no word yet on when the Shoppable AR Lens feature will be made widely available to creators. For advertisers, the pricing for the Shoppable AR Lenses is the same as typical AR Lenses, between $10 and $14 for 1,000 AR Lens plays, and the shop button is free to add to any Lens.

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