- Levi's released a line of virtual clothing on Snapchat that corresponds to items holiday shoppers can also buy in real life, according to details emailed to sister publication Mobile Marketer. Users of the photo-messaging app can dress up their Bitmoji avatars in the Levi's x Bitmoji collection, and buy items from the collection for themselves directly from Levi's website.
- The collection includes jeans, trucker jackets and Western shirts in multiple washes. Levi's provided 12 curated looks for Bitmoji, but Snapchat users can customize their avatar's look by mixing and matching styles in different combinations.
- The new collection lets consumers match their social media avatars, potentially helping Levi's drive direct sales from its website. Snapchat users will see their designs in in-app features like Snap Map, Bitmoji Stories, chats and augmented reality (AR) lenses. They also can use their avatars in mobile games that are integrated with Snapchat, per the announcement.
As consumers express themselves through social media, Levi's can participate in the cultural trend by giving Snapchat users a way to customize their Bitmoji with its clothing. In addition to raising awareness for its brand as people decorate their avatars, Levi's can drive direct sales with the link to its website, letting people match their social media presence in real life. As clothing brands like Levi's seek to drive e-commerce sales from consumers who are avoiding stores during the pandemic, having a stronger presence on social platforms has become even more critical.
Parent company Levi Strauss has felt the pandemic's negative effects on the retailing industry, with two straight quarters of double-digit sales declines. There are signs that the company is recovering, with revenue falling 27% to $1.06 billion in Q3 from a year earlier — a less severe dip than its 62% plunge to $498 million a quarter earlier. E-commerce has been a bright spot, though not enough to completely offset the steep declines for retail. The brand reported a 52% jump in online revenue in Q3 as homebound consumers shopped for clothing online at higher rates.
To reach those consumers, Levi Strauss has ramped up a variety of online sales efforts. The company in October streamed a live show on Amazon, where it has hosted live events for the past couple of years, during the e-commerce company's yearly Prime Day shopping event, The Wall Street Journal reported. Until the pandemic subsides, more apparel brands could offer livestreamed sales events to reach homebound folks.
For Snapchat, the Levi's activation is another sign of how parent company Snap is monetizing Bitmoji. The avatars have become a key feature of the app after Snap acquired Bitstrips, the maker of the Bitmoji app, for more than $100 million in 2016. Levi's is the latest brand to offer a clothing line for the avatars, following a similar effort by Nike's Air Jordan brand and Ralph Lauren, whose collection that had a "shop the look" feature on its website.