Sephora just announced a shoppable Snapchat campaign, although their choice of the ephemeral medium has baffled many. While a massive portion of the population uses it, aesthetically, Snapchat isn’t even close to Instagram. It isn’t as shareable as Facebook, and tracking followers and other metrics is much more challenging than it is on Twitter. To make the matter worse, Snapchat does not allow users to include a clickable shopping link in uploaded photos. All this backdrop is more than enough to pass a judgment that Snapchat is inherently non-shoppable.

Sephora shoppable snapchat

An example of a shoppable Snapchat screenshot from Sephora.

But Sephora is looking to PopSugar, who believes that it has found a robust solution to make Snapchat shoppable. The name of that solution is Emoticode, a buddy app to Snapchat that taps into a core social action taken by Snapchat users: the screenshot.

Basically, Emoticode simplifies the bloggers and brands’ efforts to insert links to products in their Snapchat stories that their fans can screenshot and save for later. It allows brands and bloggers to create linkable photos and snaps by converting URLs into shortened links, which always starts with a Snapchat ghost and rocket emojis. Brands can then include those in their Snapchat stories, or in their Instagram posts. Once someone screenshots them and opens the resulting image back in the Emoticode app, it decodes them into clickable links once more. Another thing to note here is that PopSugar is the owner of ShopStyle, a podium for multiples of beauty, fashion and retail bloggers, who will be the first to use these links to monetize their Snapchat content. In short, Emoticode is an affiliated link program, as the influencer community of ShopStyle will convert any URL linking to a product, article, or web page, into an Emoticode. Then this code will be copied by influencers into their Snapchat stories.  PopSugar will take 15% of each sale that occurs.

Indeed, it’s an effort to boost the sales and engagement, but it’s not at all different than other third party social shopping apps which are already out there as far as Instagram is concerned. To get this whole thing working on your platform, you have to download the Emoticode-enabled apps.

But will this shoppable Snapchat workaround see success? Though this solution seems a bit clunky and roundabout, Snapchat is a growing platform, especially for young people, with more than 100 million daily active users who watch 8 billion videos per day. Clearly, its reach, particularly among millennials, is unquestionable. Similarly, its “immediate” and short living nature makes it a perfect destination for those shoppers who decide to shop on a whim. The insights of Red Gaskell, Everlane’s head of social are very vocal in this regard. She said,” If you’re strategic about what audience you target with the right partners, it could be super effective. Already, when we’ve done stories ourselves on products, people are snapping us organically to find out where they can buy a product or where it is on the site. So, Snapchat is definitely a place where these interactions are happening, it just has to be as frictionless as possible”. What is interesting to note here is that ShopStyle bloggers are helping Everlane promote its products and it has beta tested the Emoticodes. Moreover, what makes it a serious player is its ability to measure ROI – monitoring clicks, orders, revenue and conversion rate.

Of course, Emoticode is a breakthrough in the realm of shoppable Snapchat, if only because anything which creates a link between users and retailers is a welcome move. That’s why giants like Sephora, Target, Uniqlo and Nordstrom are jumping on its bandwagon.

 

This post was written by Prasad Dhamdhere.

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