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Snapchat’s shoppable ads can unlock data, sales if relevant

Snapchat’s new shoppable advertisements could solve past issues with a lack of return-on-investment data on the mobile messaging application through more seamless and direct calls-to-action, as long as retailers are wary of being intrusive.

While Snapchat advertising is rooted in user-generated campaigns with interactive sponsored content such as its filters, marketers should be wary about being interruptive. Since consumers are known to share and interact with a wide range of Snapchat ad content, marketers need to be sure that the shoppable ads provide a beneficial capability to users instead of just intruding on the experience.

“Snapchat’s engagement, particularly with millennials, is through the roof,” said Katherine Hays, founder and CEO of Vivoom. “The company is now reporting over 10 billion views per day.

“They have had amazing success with their recent user-generated marketing campaigns like Gatorade with 165 million views and more recently Taco Bell with 240 million views,” she said. “These are campaigns where consumers are not only creating branded content but also sharing it with their friends.

“The challenge with those campaigns on Snapchat is that while the videos get incredibly high views, they are difficult for brands to measure as they lack any sort of call-to-action. The videos come and go quickly so there is no way for the brand to preserve or re-publish the great content that is created, as a result, shoppable ads, which include an explicit call to action, are a natural and exciting development for Snapchat.”

Shopping on Snapchat
Snapchat’s shoppable ads provide users with a direct and native method of completing an action associated with an ad in its Discover channel platform. For instance, in Refinery29’s Discover channel, an Uber ad was recently showcased that allowed users to swipe up and view ride times.

The advertisement provided a direct link to download to take advantage of the real-time ride times. The built-in call-to-action it provides is native and seamless, which allows advertisers to increase sales as the less steps in between purchases, the more likely users are to complete purchase.

Marketers will now have a much wider range of data and information on Snapchat users. The call-to-action will provide more insight on ROI and can help fine-tune campaigns into what works best for consumers.

However, if the experience is not relevant or tailored to the channel, it might prove to be ineffective.

“These calls-to-action are in separate brand channels on Snapchat versus being included in the more authentic user-generated marketing with branded filters that have garnered such success,” Ms. Hays said. “A more successful formula may be to include calls-to-action within user-generated campaigns in the branded filters themselves versus in separate brand channels, marrying the high engagement of UGM with the measurability of the shoppable ads.”

Beneficial brand experiences
Target and Lancome are other retailers that have taken to Snapchat’s new ads by allowing users to swipe up to purchase products directly within fitting Discover channels, such as Cosmopolitan. The publication is a suitable choice for the brands, as its readers are often coming to the platform for information regarding makeup and fashion.

The native experience creates a beneficial experience for users, as many are coming to the platform for ideas on makeup and providing a direct sales capability makes it easier on the consumer. The swipe-up ads take 10 seconds for a user to interact with, which can significantly drive sales as the faster the experience, the less likely consumers are to drop off.

“Can you say ‘convenience factor’? Consumers want choices and convenience; shopping on Snapchat can provide both,” said Carrie McIlveen, U.S. director of marketing at Metia. “How many times have you falling in love with something online and go searching for it via the world wide web or in-store, only to be disappointed that you can not locate the coveted item?

“With Snapchat’s shoppable function, the consumer can have instant gratification,” she said. “The world of retail is changing- perhaps faster than any time in history.

“Mobile and social channels continue to change the way consumers shop and this is a, not surprising, example of ways for them to stay connected with their favorite online retailers through every phase of the shopping experience.”