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Amazon & Snapchat: A Match Made in Shopping Heaven

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In a rare move for Amazon, the giant has partnered with Snapchat, to roll out a new visual product search feature within the Snapchat app. This innovative feature comes just in time for the holiday season – last year alone, US Snapchatters spent an extra 280 million hours on the app during the holidays. And with a staggering 186 million daily active Snapchat users, this is the perfect avenue for Amazon to reach a younger demographic on a large scale.

Upon opening Snapchat, users can now scan a physical product or barcode, and in turn an Amazon card will appear with corresponding product details, if the item is available on Amazon. Upon tapping this card, users are sent to Amazon’s app or website to view further details, or to potentially purchase the item.

This new tool, combines strengths from both companies. While Amazon’s machine learning scans the image to detect recognizable logos, packaging, or other unique identifiers, Snapchat provides a valuable audience eager to shop. According to studies by Murphy Research and Gfk, Snapchat users are 20% more likely to make a mobile purchase than non-users, and they are 60% more likely to make impulse purchases.

This feature has only rolled out to a small percentage of US users; however, it will likely be available worldwide soon. Financial details of the partnership haven’t been revealed; however, after posting a $385 million loss last quarter, this is definitely a sweet deal for Snapchat. Whether the company is receiving a percentage of sales, or a set amount, this partnership should help alleviate some of the reported losses.

While this partnership may be unexpected, the shift that social media platforms are taking in exploring new ecommerce opportunities, isn’t. Instagram recently announced the expansion of shopping tags within stories, and last year Pinterest launched it’s “Lens” feature, which allows users to utilize a visual search option to identify relevant images or related items.

While the search landscape continues to evolve, from voice to visual search, there’s no denying the innovative power behind this partnership, and the ever expanding ecommerce opportunities becoming available on social media.

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