Snap launches a new business to help retailers with AR shopping

For years, Snapchat has allowed you to try on new lipstick shades, hats, and outfits from major retailers. But starting today, you’ll be able to apply these Snapchat-powered capabilities in other apps.

Snap just announced a new business unit, AR Enterprise Services (ARES), that’ll equip retailers with tools so you can try on clothes, jewelry, and more from various brands — all from the comfort of your home.

The new ARES business aims to help retailers increase conversions and reduce return rates with augmented reality shopping tools. To this end, ARES will provide its customers with professional services, including product marketing to customer support. That’s in addition to tools included in its first solution — the “Shopping Suite” — which is oriented toward retailers across verticals like fashion, apparel, accessories, and home furnishings.

A sampling of ARES features.
Image: Snap

The Shopping Suite includes virtual try-on features that allow customers to try on products like clothes, sunglasses, and shoes. They can upload a photo of themselves to see how they’d look or interact with AR experiences to see how the product would look on their bodies in real time.

There are also a few other tools, like one that offers shoppers fit and sizing recommendations based on their body size and shape. The 3D Viewer tool, meanwhile, lets customers explore various angles and details of products.

The Shopping Suite additionally includes the Enterprise Manager Backend system. Snap says it should make it easier for businesses to use Snap’s software development kits, letting them build AR experiences and even check out real-time performance analytics.

So far, Snap says over 300 customers have used various Shopping Suite features, including retailers like Goodr, Princess Polly, and Gobi Cashmere.

The move comes a few months after Snap suggested making AR features monetizable was crucial for its success. In December, the company announced it was working with creators to help them make money from in-app lenses. These lenses include the likes of digital in-game items users can buy with Snap Tokens.

“At the end of the day when platforms succeed and fail, it’s whether the developers and those who are building on the platform are able to monetize,” Sophia Dominguez, Snap’s director of AR platform partnerships, explained at the time.

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