Snap is stepping up its efforts to become a destination for ecommerce, and it’s got a powerful new partner to do so.
The ephemeral camera company announced today that it is partnering with Amazon to test a visual search feature that will surface links to products on the ecommerce giant’s website.
Users will be able to open up Snapchat, point the camera at a physical product or barcode, and press hold. The camera scans for logos, artwork, and other visual cues to surface matches for the product. If the camera recognizes the product, a card with a link to the item on Amazon, or a similar one, will appear. Snap didn’t say in the blog post announcing the new feature how many items its camera will be able to recognize.
The testing will begin with a small percentage U.S. Snapchat users, and Snap did not say when it expects to roll out the test to other countries. According to a Snapchat-commissioned study from 2017, U.S. Snapchat users are 20 percent more likely than non-Snapchat users to have made a purchase on mobile, though that’s not too surprising of a finding given that Snapchat’s audience has typically skewed younger than other social platforms.
The news comes just a week after Snap’s biggest competitor Instagram announced that it was creating a dedicated shopping channel on its Explore tab, and is rumored to be creating a standalone shopping app.
In April, Snap launched shoppable AR Lenses that directs users to click on a company’s website or install an app. Initial launch partners included Clairol, King, and Adidas.
By partnering with Amazon, a site that’s expected to capture nearly half of all U.S. ecommerce transactions this year, Snap is getting a huge leg up. Still, the success of the new feature will depend on how much friction users run into trying to get the camera to recognize an item.