A new app, Emoticode, aims to make Snapchat more shoppable – tackling a major pain point for brands advertising on the platform.

While marketers have embraced the popular social platform as a way to reach millennial shoppers, the lack of commerce has been a major frustration. Many have opted for clickable “Buy Now” ads, yet barely a third of brands using them saw any sales lift, according to L2’s Instagram vs. Snapchat report.

Buy buttons

Emoticode was created by PopSugar, which owns the ShopStyle platform for beauty and fashion bloggers. Using the app, those influencers will be able to include “emoticodes,” or shortened URLs that include emojis, in their Snapchat stories. If users want to buy a mentioned product, they take a screenshot of the story, then re-open the screenshot inside the Emoticode app, where it links directly to product pages.

“It was clear that people wanted to take action from our snaps and it wasn’t as easy as it could be. The lightbulb went off,” CEO Brian Sugar told Digiday.

The app may sound a bit cumbersome – will Snapchat users really want to download a second app? However, it represents progress from ShopStyle’s previous foray into Snapchat commerce. The platform published stories with links, but they were not clickable, forcing users to memorize the URL before the end of the snap’s 10-second duration.

As brands court Snapchat users, such workarounds are likely to become increasingly common. But the L2 study suggests that until the app allows more engagement within snaps, consumers will be reluctant to engage in the less-than-seamless shopping experience.

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