Would you shop on Snapchat? The brand, touted as the most authentic of all the social media platforms, is opening up a Snap Store where it will sell its own merch. Although using the store to entice brands to sell their products might seem like a more solid revenue move, Snapchat appears to be sticking to selling its own goods with the hope that brand loyalty can be built, or in this case, sold.
Engagement, interaction, and brand loyalty can be tough to measure on the ephemeral content-based platform. Adding to this, Snapchat’s popularity has wavered as Instagram Stories took off. According to L2’s report on video, Snapchat had a daily active user base of 166 million in May 2017. Instagram Stories surpassed this with 250 million daily active users in June of the same year.
Instagram Stories has aggressively added e-commerce into the mix with swipe-up links leading to brand sites, linked influencer tags, and checkout buttons to support shoppable content. Snapchat, meanwhile, has made few adjustments to its Stories content tools, limiting the ability of brands and influencers to leverage owned content for e-commerce and putting it in high risk of being niche-ified.
It’s not the first time a communication app has gone from app to store. Popular messaging app Line took a leap with its charismatic gang of characters, translating the stickers into merch to be sold in physical stores across the globe. While Snapchat doesn’t seem to have any plans to take its in-app store into the real world, it will be selling a plushie version of its iconic dancing hot dog — a quirky character who has already won the hearts of many across the internet and could lead the way for Snapchat to get its loyalty game back on a roll.
The introduction of the Snap Store to rebuild brand loyalty, however, seems a bit questionable. Even if users still snap on the regular, there’s no guarantee they’ll want to profess that activity on T-shirts and hats priced between $20 and $50.