There’a been a rise in social media accounts that you could shop like a mall. First, there were Instagram accounts you can shop. Then, we got introduced to Pinterest’s Buyable Pins. As for Facebook, well, they introduced their Facebook Buy Button back in 2014. Get ready to do some more shopping. Snapchat is the latest social media platform to join the e-commerce gang.
Joanna Coles, the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and a member of Snapchat’s board of directors, told the audience at Re/code’s Code/Media conference at The Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, California, yesterday that the launch of a shoppable option was coming to the extremely popular social platform soon. “Sweet is a channel on Snapchat that Hearst and Snapchat have done together, and the tagline is ‘Love something new every day,’” she said in an interview with Re/code’s Kara Swisher, “but at some point that will morph into an e-commerce platform so you will be able to buy from it.”
But don’t write off stores just yet. Joanna said the technology behind this move is not quite there yet “for how we would like to do it.” But moving into e-commerce is definitely the right direction, Microsoft software engineer and fashion designer Dona Sarkar tells us. “I think this is smart and inevitable,” she says, “I love the idea of a ‘flash sale’ on Snapchat and think it will really drive sales, especially if these are super exclusive to who checks their snaps and different than deals on Twitter, Facebook, etc. All social platforms started with consumer, got people hooked on using and then enabled businesses to use it for commerce.” Considering there are presently over 400 million monthly users on Instagram, she’s got a point.
“Think about how Instagram and Pinterest are now the number one way retailers drive traffic to sales. A few years ago, everyone thought these sites were for [people] to share pretty pictures” Dona tells us, “Now these are multi-billion dollar opportunities. Snapchat is smart to do this.” And Snapchat’s rise since 2011 can certainly be described as meteoric. It was ranked the third most popular social app among millennials, behind only Facebook and Instagram in 2015. Measurement firm Comscore reports that 60 percent of Americans ages 13 to 35 use Snapchat and that number is only growing.
According to research from the University of Michigan, people like it more than Facebook for communicating and second only to face-to-face interactions (what are those?), Snapchat was ranked the most “rewarding” form of communication. Imagine being able to shop that communication. Now that’s something to talk about.