Snapchat Forays Into E-Commerce With New In-App Store



While the initial launch is internal, it could lead to the creation of an ephemeral commerce marketplace for partner brands.

Hot on the heels of a new redesign—and some positive financial news—Snapchat is dabbling in commerce with the launch of a digital store that lives within the app itself.

The Snap Store will sell Snapchat merch from directly within the app, so the news here is less about the company unlocking a new source of revenue and more about Snap’s desire to prove to partners that they can effectively move product directly within the user experience.

As a refresher, this is far from Snap’s first attempt at selling merch. Since 2016, the company has sold an assortment of items spanning beach towels, ghost plushies, backpacks, playing cards, dancing hotdog costumes, and yes, Spectacles, through its Amazon merchant account.

So, how can you access the store and what are the requirements for making purchases? The store is accessible by first visiting the Snap Store’s site where a special QR code, called a “Snapcode,” will appear (see below).

Image via TechCrunch.

To scan this code, open your app and hover the camera over the image of the Snapchat Ghost, ensuring no part of it gets cut off. Hold down with one finger, away from the center button used to take a photo or video, until a screen pops up indicating you have successfully subscribed.

With this same screen, you’ll also have the option to tap “open” if you’re ready and wanting to shop, or, if you’d like to come back at another time, simply select “dismiss.” The store will also routinely appear in the Discover section of the app when new items are released.

Once in the Snap Store, users can browse through the list of available items, scroll up to get to a particular product page, and tap “Add to Bag” to review and complete their order.

For now, Snap Store orders are only being shipped to the U.S., likely a move by the part of the company to gauge the success of the latest commercial endeavor before committing to a full rollout. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards are currently among the accepted forms of payment and only those with a Snapchat account will be able to make a purchase.

Snap-themed products for sale in the store at launch include:

  • Dancing Hot Dog Plush Doll: $19.99
  • Streak Hat: $29.99
  • Winkface Sweatshirt: $49.99
  • Dog Lens Tee: $29.99
  • Bring Back Best Friends Sweatshirt: $49.99

Image via TechCrunch.

As depicted in the screenshot above, items may disappear from the store randomly, so users are encouraged to act fast. This type of ephemeral e-commerce could be an interesting avenue for brands seeking to find interesting and unique ways to sell products via the app.

Snapchat notes that while more products will be released over time, older products could also resurface once they’re back in stock.

Execs at Snap are being coy about the company’s longer-term aspirations to partner with brands in this capacity, explaining that the store is designed to boost app loyalty and strengthen community. It would logically follow that should the internal tests work, Snap could very well roll the store concept out to brand partners, essentially created an ephemeral, on-demand marketplace for on-the-go shopping.

To learn more about emerging trends in e-commerce and what Snapchat and other social platforms have in the works for 2018, join us at SMWNYC April 24-27. Secure your pass today.

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