Snap is launching more shopping destinations in its app.
While some influencers, publishers and brands have access to a feature where users can swipe-up on snaps to buy products directly within the app, this new tool allows select accounts to have a store within Snapchat. Snapchat users can access the shops, which will be powered by Shopify, by going to an account’s page. The native checkout feature is limited to Snapchat users in the U.S.; international users are directed to a mobile website due to privacy and data requirements overseas, a Snap spokesperson said.
On June 6, only five official accounts — Snapchat’s parlance for verified users — will have access to shops: Kylie Jenner (Kylie Cosmetics); Kim Kardashian (KKW Beauty); Shay Mitchell (Béis); Spencer Pratt (Pratt Daddy Crystals); Bhad Bhabie (BHADgoods). Each of those accounts currently has access to the swipe-up to buy feature to sell makeup, travel bags, crystals and clothing, respectfully. Snap plans to release the tool to more official accounts in the coming weeks, including Khloe Kardashian (Good American) and Rob Kardashian (Arthur George), and will expand the program to publishers later this year. For now, Snap is not taking a cut of the transactions, a Snap spokesperson said.
This update comes as Snapchat looks to keep its users engaged on the app and appease creators by offering them more ways to generate revenue from the platform. Snap has used native commerce as a way to satisfy its creator community rather than by sharing ad revenue — unless the creator has its own Snapchat show like Jenner’s “Ask Kylie” and Bhabie’s “Bringing Up Bhabie.” That’s quite unlike on YouTube, where creators can make money off of ads within all of their videos that abide by the community standards.
A Snap spokesperson said they wanted to release stores since most creators have more than one product to sell and this store allows them to showcase them. Snap launched its own in-app store with Snapchat- and Bitmoji-themed items in Feb. 2018. Previously, creators could only attach products to individual snaps. The native commerce experience has been available to U.S.-based official accounts that have Shopify stores, in a closed beta.
While it’s questionable if Snapchat’s in-app checkout is any better than one that redirects to a web browser, Brandon Doyle, founder of agency Wallaroo Media, said he does expect the shops to increase sales in Snapchat. “Any time you can cut down on a click you increase conversion rates and add that to the fact that these shops will fit the aesthetic of Snap,” Doyle said.
Snap declined to share any information about sales from in-app checkout, citing the program is in beta.
Snapchat’s Shopify integration also brings up the question of who owns the data. Snapchat only sends a user’s contact information (phone number and email address) to a merchant if they complete a purchase. Shopify store owners are unable to retarget Snapchat users who abandon their carts in the in-app feature.
Snapchat-competitor Instagram also has bet more on shopping. In March, Instagram launched a beta program where users can shop, check out and manage orders all within the app — nearly identical to the tool Snap started testing in April 2018 with publishers and later expanded to brands and creators. Instagram’s launch partners included Kylie Cosmetics as well. Unlike on Snapchat, Instagram takes a selling fee.