eCommerce is increasingly looking like a key element of Snapchat's future, with the development of virtual try-on tools and other features designed to help Snap users discover and purchase the latest products in-stream.
Today, Snap took another step towards the next stage for its shopping options, with the acquisition of digital sizing company FitAnalytics, which provides tools that help brands facilitate more accurate product matches, while also collecting relevant data on customer preferences.
FitAnalytics works with a range of retailers on their digital sizing and selection tools, including The North Face, ASOS, Calvin Klein and more.
The merger with Snap will see FitAnalytics working with Snap's team to develop advanced connection tools in the app - as explained by FitAnalytics CEO Sebastian Schulze:
"This acquisition will strengthen Fit Analytics’ position as an industry leader in apparel and footwear technology [...] Our main focus going forward will be to scale the Fit Analytics business and work with Snap to grow their shopping platform, leveraging our technology and expertise. Our teams will be jointly executing on next-gen shopping, fashion and style offerings."
Among those next-gen offerings could be a more advanced variation of digital try-on tools. As reported by TechCrunch, among FitAnalytics' projects, they're developing a new system designed to match clothing using images that customers upload themselves.
That could tie into Snapchat's advancing body-mapping technology, which it's already using to model Bitmoji fashion items.
Nothing to see here, just my @Bitmoji showing off his best @RalphLauren suit ???????? #Snapchat #AugmentedReality pic.twitter.com/Pf25dBvNlV— Matt McGowan (@matt_mcgowan) December 3, 2020
Indeed, Snapchat's looking to build a whole range of virtual clothing options for your Bitmoji characters, and in combination with the matching capabilities of FitAnalytics, it may well be looking to provide advanced digital try-on tools, that enable users to get a better understanding of what they'll look like in any item of clothing before they purchase.
Imagine, for example, you test out a new item of clothing on your Bitmoji character, and you like it so much that you actually want to see how it would look on your real body. This new partnership could facilitate this - and that's just one of the many ways in which this could be a major deal for Snapchat.
Merging digital and real-world environments has been Snap's focus for some time, and enabling users to wear the clothes they do online is another key step in this process. That may not seem like a direct link, but as shown by Fortnite and other platforms with in-app cosmetics, people will pay to dress up their virtual characters, and it's not a stretch to imagine that same enthusiasm expanding to their real-life fashion options.
If Snapchat can integrate its body mapping tech with FitAnalytics' advanced size and scale tools, that could be a major shift, and could quickly make Snapchat a key leader in driving fashion trends.