- Dior last week unveiled its B27 sneaker with an augmented reality (AR) lens on Snapchat that lets users of the photo-messaging app virtually try on and buy the shoes, per an announcement emailed to sister publication Mobile Marketer.
- The luxury brand showcased six styles of the men's sneakers, which sell for $990 to $1,100 on its Snapchat profile and website. Dior's website describes the B27 sneakers as an "urban, sporty and refined line" whose inspiration includes "the vintage look of '80s tennis shoes to the skateboarding universe."
- The immersive experience can help to engage passive browsers on mobile and potentially turn them into active buyers around the holiday shopping season. The AR try-on for the sneakers follows last year's campaign on Snapchat to promote the capsule collection that Dior created with luxury luggage brand Rimowa.
With many consumers looking to purchase holiday gifts earlier than ever this season because of the pandemic, Dior aims to engage Snapchat users with an immersive AR e-commerce experience that guides them to the point of sale. In addition to raising awareness for Dior, the AR lens transforms Snapchat into a direct sales channel that reaches a broader group of consumers who may not be able to find the shoes in nearby stores.
The virtual try-on offers an idea of what the B27 sneakers look like while wearing them, partly replacing the in-store experience of trying them on. The pandemic has made virtual shopping experiences a bigger priority. Many consumers are unwilling to spend time in stores because of safety concerns, with 54% of men and 65% of women saying in May that they didn't feel comfortable trying on clothes in dressing rooms, per researcher First Insights. With a resurgence of coronavirus cases hitting many regions, shopping malls continue to see steep declines in foot traffic from last year, while wholesale chains have fared somewhat better, according to location data company Placer.ai.
Dior is the latest brand to offer a virtual try-on of products in Snapchat, as brands seek to reach homebound consumers on their mobile devices. Most recently, Champs Sports became the first sportswear retailer to offer AR try-ons of sneakers using Snapchat's new technology. In August, Hoka One One, the maker of athletic apparel owned by Uggs maker Deckers Brands, created a mobile shopping experience featuring an AR pop-up store and virtual try-on of running shoes. Other marketers, including Clearly, Essie, Kohl's, Levi's, Jordan Brand and Sally Hansen, offered virtual try-on experiences on Snapchat, parent company Snap said in a quarterly report.
Dior's AR try-ons and e-commerce experience are another sign of how Snap is integrating its advertising technology with online shopping, as digital B2C commerce becomes a bigger priority for social media companies. In its most recent earnings announcement, Snap touted AR experiences as a key growth driver in helping brands engage with its predominantly younger audience. More 180 million of Snapchat's 249 million users engage with AR every day for an average of 30 times, per information shared with Mobile Marketer. As more people used social media during the pandemic, Snap saw a 52% yearly jump in revenue to $678.7 million in Q3.