Snapchat Continues to Advance its AR Try-On Tools, Pointing to the Next Stage of Online Shopping
Snapchat has added a new integration for ComplexCon to show off its growing AR Put-On features, which allows Snap users to virtually try on branded t-shirts and hoodies to see how they look in the app. It isn't finished yet. The digital overlays are still puffy and not completely aligned to the proportions of the users. However, it's another indication of Snap's growing body-mapping capabilities, which will eventually allow users to try on all types of apparel while being guided by their specific size preferences and other modifications, expediting in-app purchase activity.
Snapchat already has some AR Try On choices for commercial campaigns, including make-up, glasses, jewelry, shoes, and purses. For quite some time, the business has been working on the next generation of smart wearables. Snap collaborated with Prada and Farfetch on a series of digital try-on experiments in May, which featured some upper-body apparel.
In March, Snap purchased FitAnalytics, a digital sizing startup that offers technologies to help promote more accurate product fits while also gathering data on client preferences. Snap has made significant progress with its AR overlays as a result of these developments, and while Facebook and Apple are working on their virtual product options, Snap appears to be holding its own in terms of innovation, which could see it play a much bigger role in the next stage of commerce.
While overall eCommerce trends are expected to decline in 2022 as physical businesses reopen around the world, the momentum behind online buying will continue to grow, with the recent uptick just compounding a longer-term trend. E-Commerce sales were already climbing steadily before the COVID boost, as seen in this figure from Oberlo, and are on track to surpass last year's results based on the first half of the year. Even so, it appears likely that online product sales will even out at a significantly higher rate than they were in 2019, with habitual trends and familiarity now pushing more consumers online, prompting more apps and platforms to offer in-stream purchase options, to lean into what may well be this generation's biggest consumer shift.
The shift is particularly strong among younger consumer groups, who are now accustomed to finding and purchasing products online, while advances such as live-stream shopping, which sometimes offers exclusive merchandise, and AR Try-On tools are making it easier for consumers to buy from their device and stay up to date on the latest trends without having to rush to the local mall on release day.
In some respects, this also applies to their online persona, and it's fascinating to think about how our online and actual lives are merging, increasing the value of digital transactions. NBA star Tyrese Haliburton, for example, recently donned a pair of sneakers with his Bored Ape, an NFT artwork he bought online.
As you can see, part of the appeal of these one-of-a-kind works of art is that ownership data is maintained on the blockchain, which means it is publicly available, allowing you to look up each particular item and see who owns it online (via OpenSea). That might lead to a new trend of recycling online-acquired art for one-of-a-kind, real-world fashion goods, broadening the range of possible applications beyond, say, adorning your digital avatar with the latest skin.
It'll be interesting to see how this trend grows from an eCommerce standpoint, and with Instagram and Twitter both experimenting with NFT showcase options on their profiles, you can see how these trends could start to converge and enable new use cases.
This might lead to a slew of new marketing opportunities and tie-ins, all of which could eventually tie into the metaverse's growing popularity. Nobody knows what the metaverse will be like just now, or how digital art you buy today will translate - a significant component of its future value proposition. Even yet, there's a lot of momentum behind this next-level effort right now, and we're starting to see more ways that online purchasing is growing, and how it will lead to a bigger fusion of your online and offline identities.