Could this help position Snapchat to lead the way on the next big eCommerce trend?
This week, Snapchat has announced a new partnership with Levi's, which will enable users to dress up their Bitmoji avatars in classic Levi's outfits.
As explained by Snap:
"The Levi’s x Bitmoji collection features timeless Levi’s pieces including the 501 Original Fit Jeans, Trucker Jackets, and Western Shirts, all available in multiple washes. Snapchatters and Bitmoji users can choose between 12 curated Levi’s outfits, or they can customize their look further with billions of unique ways to style the classic pieces."
Snapchat added the capability to dress up your Bitmoji character in different outfits last year, which has since lead to partnerships with Ralph Lauren and Jordan, among others in creating Bitmoji clothing options.
Bitmoji characters are hugely popular in the app, with around 70% of Snapchat users engaging with the feature.
Given this, the option to dress up your custom character in different items of clothing, further aligning it with your personal preferences, has also proven to be a hit - and while seeing your avatar dressed up in new fashion outfits isn't the same as trying those clothes on for yourself, it does help to further brand affiliation, and align consumers with a brand identity.
But Snapchat's actually now able to go a step further - take a look at this tweet from Snapchat GM Matt McGowan.
Now, with Snapchat's full-body tracking tools, users can create life-sized versions of their Bitmoji characters, which they can overlay onto real-world scenes.
It's not perfect - you can still see the person's real arms and legs overflowing slightly as they move. But it's another way to use Bitmoji characters, and Snap AR, to create a whole new experience. Which also helps to showcase the clothes that your Bitmoji is wearing, and could be a great way to increase brand awareness and connection.
Like all social platforms, Snapchat has been looking to merge into eCommerce of late, as a means to maximize its revenue potential, and increase user engagement.
Snap introduced its first 'shoppable' Snap Original shows back in June, and has been working with several brands on new eCommerce integrations, like scannable barcodes and logos and AR 'try on' options, like this integration with Gucci:
With Facebook and Instagram now pushing their own eCommerce integrations, it makes sense for Snap to also follow suit, as those new activations will change consumer habits over time. Essentially, that means that consumers will eventually come to expect that they'll be able to buy whatever they see in the images and videos shared to their social feeds. The platforms that can best align with this will open up a range of new possibilities for their business tools.
What's most interesting about Snap, however, is its focus on AR for such purpose, which is where many expect consumer attention to shift in the second half of 2021.
Facebook says that its AR glasses will be made available to the public next year, and Apple is also working on AR wearables. Given this, Snapchat could actually be at the forefront of this next stage with these new features, despite the fact that Facebook looks likely to lead the charge in taking that next step.
That could better position Snapchat as the AR leader, and if Snap can also find a way to convert its camera-equipped Spectacles into a full AR-enabled device, that could put it in a good position to challenge the big players in the AR/eCommerce shift.
And that shift will be big. Right now, it may seem like a novelty, an interesting addition, it may seem like a bit of a gimmick to be able to dress up your Bitmoji avatar in brand name clothing. But this could be a significant development, and it could help Snap evolve with the next phase of consumer activity.