Entertainment Snap Brand Strategy

Peak season is fast approaching – here’s how to use social shopping to get ahead

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By Jenni Baker, Senior Editor

July 27, 2023 | 7 min read

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To drive impact with Gen Z and Millennials during peak shopping season, brands need to connect effectively and authentically. Here, we explore how to stand out on social to unlock sales success.

Snap Retail event photo

Online shopping hasn’t evolved much over the past few decades with the most sites still displaying static feeds and products

Research shows that 91% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising – making social commerce an incredibly powerful tool, if used correctly.

You only have to look to the 21 million+ UK monthly active users on Snapchat who are consistently coming to the platform to share their purchases and ask friends for advice and recommendations on what to buy.

Speaking at a recent event to kick off the shopping season, Claudine Clark, senior client partner at Snap said: “We’ve seen a massive shift in terms of the influence friends and family have on our shopping decisions - their opinions and recommendations on what to buy matter and social platforms are the means by which we gather feedback and opinions from our closest circle.”

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This, she says, gives brands a huge opportunity to step in and connect with Snapchatters through their social commercial journey. This can be done in various ways. For example, retailers can engage with Snapchatters in the lead up to peak season by using AR try-on filters that transplant sunglasses and shoes onto their bodies, or brands can use total app takeovers which give them 100% of the share of voice for the first impression across almost every video and camera placement for 24 hours.

Digging more into Snapchat’s AR functions, as well as being able to try on the items, the Snapchatters can shop directly either within the app or on the retailer’s own app. This technology, as well as providing entertainment and helping customers make product decisions, also has the potential to reduce returns as the customer has a better fit and feel of the product.

Injecting entertainment into the shopping experience

The end of year shopping season is not just about shopping – it’s about celebrating with friends and family. Brands should be thinking about how to connect with audiences through creative and entertaining content that taps into the key celebratory moments throughout the season.

Kate Mellett, creative strategist at Snap, advises brands to look at the larger peak season calendar to find fresh ways of engaging customers, claiming creativity builds loyalty.

“When we think about peak, brands should not only focus on the big moments like Christmas, but also on all of those smaller moments and times for celebration in between, like graduation,” she says. “Each of these moments represents a different meaning that brands can align with and support.”

A 2022 NRG study commissioned by Snap Inc shows that 73% of Snapchatters say “compared to the past, I put more effort into celebrating the smaller everyday moments these days” while 65% agree “I purchase items to celebrate small moments all year round”. Brands can be part of these moments before, during and after, to drive sales and improve ROI.

Making your brand part of the shopping journey

Online shopping hasn’t evolved much over the past couple of decades with the majority of sites still displaying static feeds and products. “Occasionally we get a video, which is really exciting, but we are still looking at pictures and videos of models, not at pictures of ourselves,” Mellett says. “We need to make shopping more about the shopper rather than just a static feed of products.”

One example from Snap’s 2022 peak season was Nike’s body tracking filter which it ran as part of its back-to-school push in the lead up to its commercial campaign. It worked by appealing to parents who were looking for activities for their kids during the holidays.

“What was important about this was that it put Nike at the forefront of parents’ minds in the lead up to the commercial moment of back to school, which then meant it was able to create an audience of parents who are engaged with this lens, then target them later on with lower funnel performance-based formats like Dynamic Product Ads to encourage in the moment shopping,” Mellett explained.

By taking the time to invest in a public profile on Snapchat, rather than just relying on ad formats, brands have an opportunity to capitalize on the fact that users who subscribe to a brand public profile are 10 times more likely to visit your website after seeing your ad and 7 times more likely to add to cart, according to Snapchat research.

Getting social for peak shopping season

To unlock your brand’s full potential on Snapchat, the experts summarized with these tips:

  1. Have an always-on presence: embrace the different celebratory moments

  2. Start early: back to school is just around the corner, so start activating now

  3. Diversify your format strategy: ensure you have a presence across the camera through a mix of AR video app and dynamic ads

  4. Get the measurement in place: using Snap’s pixel app and event quality source score solution can help test what’s working to be able to adapt campaigns accordingly.

For more key insights on how brands can connect to life’s real moments this holiday season, visit Snap’s guide to the shopping season here.

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