Snapchat is diving into the world of e-commerce with a new store | Source: Shutterstock

Snapchat signals social-commerce ambitions with new store feature

SNAPCHAT appears to be taking aim into the world of e-commerce by beginning to sell merchandise, inside its digital store, within its app, according to Ad Age. This is the first time Snapchat has sold its own branded merchandise in-app.

The Snapchat store appeared in the media section of the app known as Discover, which is usually reserved for media companies such as BuzzFeed and ESPN who run channels featuring videos, articles, and other content.

But now, amid titles such as ‘5 bunch spots you MUST try’ and ‘3 ways to tell if your crush truly likes you’ users can find Snapchat’s Store.

Here, you can purchase items such as a hot dog plush toy, modeled after the apps dancing hot dog character which has, in Snapchat’s words, become the ‘world’s first augmented reality superstar’.

If a dancing hot dog doesn’t make you want to reach into your pockets, then perhaps a hat with a fire emoji at US$30 will, or a sweatshirt sporting the Snapchat logo at US$50.

Currently the app is only selling its own merchandise, and not letting other brands use the platform.

Perhaps this effort is a way of testing the app’s potential e-commerce capabilities. The platform has already developed various shopping opportunities through ads with brands such as Target. Users can swipe up on interactive ads which will take them through to mobile shopping sites outside of the Snapchat app.

If Snapchat introduces in-app e-commerce opportunities to other brands, then this could reap great revenue opportunities for the popular app.

Snapchat rival, Instagram, has already transformed their picture-sharing platform into a shopping destination. Ads and posts on the app have the ability to include shopping links that let users buy the items displayed in the images.


Instagram have introduced “shoppable tags.    Source: Shutterstock

Snapchat’s new store is also consistent with its culture of disappearing content. It informs Snapchatters’ that products could dissapear from the store.

“Items may disappear,” the store’s opening screen says. “So if you like what you see, swipe up to buy it.”

This is convenient method of driving demand for the brand. Things seem to be looking good for the company recently. On Tuesday, Snapchat reported their fourth-quarterly revenue jumped 72 percent year-over-year to US$285.7 million with an adjusted loss of US$0.13 per share. This beat analysts’ revenue forecasts of US$253 million and a US$0.16 per share loss.

This positive news has sent shares of Snap soaring more than 23 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday to US$17.32, with investors showing a renewed confidence in the platform’s ability to attract new users and compete with social media rivals Facebook and Instagram.

It seems we will have to wait a few more months before seeing if sales of the dancing hot-dog plushy can further accelerate the company’s revenue.