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Social Commerce: Snapchat Partners with Amazon

Just like Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat released disappointing use rates for Q2 2018. They now try to win back Millennials, as well as their shareholders’ trust, with a new set of features. A partnership with Amazon has just been announced to aim for commerce social.

The P2P photo-sharing app is rolling out “Visual Search”, a feature which sends to Amazon’s e-commerce site via image-based searches. This social media generally favoured by Gen Z customers could then provide their users with another way to access Amazon’s online product catalogue.

The user will have to snap a picture of a product, or the product’s barcode, with his smartphone. This image will first be analysed by Snapchat for focus verification and, then, by Amazon’s algorithms to spot corresponding or similar items. Once identified, a description is displayed through a pop-up window, including product reference, price and link to the Amazon page. When clicking this description, the user is directed to the e-commerce platform to complete his purchase.

This option has only been made available to a certain number of users in the US. It will gradually be expanded throughout the US, as well as in other markets where Snapchat is established.

Comments – Social media and the e-commerce sector

Snapchat recorded heavy losses in 2017 and had to cut jobs several times ever since their IPO was announced. They had to agree to ads and sponsored content to monetise their model. They are now taking another step as they join hands with the leading US e‑commerce platform. This is an opportunity for a Californian start-up currently trying to build a sustainable business model, and working to come up with additional revenue sources: charging fees on each sale and earning back shareholders’ trust.

For Amazon, this agreement is a way to draw younger generations’ attention, and to catch up with eBay, where visual search tools have been adopted in October 2017. Also, they are making this announcement just days after Instagram added two shopping features to their social media. Facebook was quick to respond via including ads in their “Stories”. Just like their rivals, Snapchat is experimenting social commerce-driven opportunities. Even if they are not the first company to be relying on a visual search option. Google and Pinterest already implemented similar solutions.