Amazon and Snapchat bet on AR e-commerce 

Amazon Fashion will use Snapchat’s augmented reality shopping lenses to allow users to try on eyewear from thousands of brands virtually. Users will be able to purchase accessories through Amazon and then share their photos online, creating a total shopping experience. As the two companies explain, the ‘Virtual Try On’ technology is only the first step towards an extension of trying on clothes and other gadgets through augmented reality. The ‘lens’ shopping filters are available from Amazon’s public profile on Snapchat, @amazonfashion, in Lens Explorer and in the social network’s camera carousel. 

The collaboration is just the latest, in chronological order, to see Snapchat experimenting with new ways for its users to interact. “With the combined innovation and technology between Snap and Amazon, we are unlocking exciting and fun new trial experiences for hundreds of millions of Snapchatters,” said Ben Schwerin, SVP of partnerships at Snap, in an announcement. “AR glasses are just the beginning of our partnership, and we look forward to continuing our innovation together.” Brands such as Maui Jim, Persol, Oakley, Ray-Ban and Costa Del Mar have already rendered their glasses so that social subscribers can try out the ‘lenses’ and the filters and decide which ones to buy if any. Product information and prices can be updated on the platform in real-time, for example, during special promotion periods, as will be the case for Black Friday at the end of November. 

As mentioned, other brands have already taken advantage of Snapchat’s AR Shopping lenses, including Mac Cosmetics, Ulta Beauty, American Eagle, Puma, Chanel, Walmart, LVMH, Goodr and Zenni Optical. Recently, on Halloween, the costume company Disguise launched its lenses. According to Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, 250 million users have interacted with AR Shopping Lenses more than 5 billion times in the past year. Amazon will use Snap’s self-service creation system, Lens Web Builder, which enables the creation of large-scale AR assets using existing 3D models. In practice, companies will be able to take pictures of their products and create a 3D version of them with Web Builder. From there, the upload in the form of lenses will be very fast—a dynamic way to increase people’s engagement and time spent online. On Amazon or Snapchat, it makes little difference.

Antonino Caffo has been involved in journalism, particularly technology, for fifteen years. He is interested in topics related to the world of IT security but also consumer electronics. Antonino writes for the most important Italian generalist and trade publications. You can see him, sometimes, on television explaining how technology works, which is not as trivial for everyone as it seems.