Gucci’s New Snapchat Filters Let Users Try & Buy Sneakers Virtually — What This Could Mean for Facebook

Gucci has announced new filters in partnership with Snapchat that enable users of the platform to virtually try on Gucci sneakers via the app. They can also purchase them right away via a “shop now” button.

Last year, the Kering-owned brand launched an iOS update allowing users to virtually try on its Ace sneaker using its own proprietary Gucci app. Now, however, the luxury powerhouse has gone bigger, by extending its augmented reality technology through the partnership with Snap Inc., owners of Snapchat.

Augmented reality, or AR technology, enables users to explore how different models of the Gucci shoes will actually look “IRL” when teamed with their chosen outfit. Customers can simply pick a shoe via the app, point a smartphone camera at their feet and see the result on screen.

As part of Gucci’s Snapchat program, shoppers can select from four pairs of sneakers with two different lenses or filters. The filters use Snapchat’s shoppable AR tech, which enables app users to purchase shoes directly with the “shop now” button. The filters will be available to users around the world in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Japan. This is the first branded use of the Snap Inc. technology.

gucci snapchat filter
Gucci’s new shoe try on filter with Snapchat.

This partnership is interesting for a number of reasons.

First, the feature is geared to increase conversions and cut down on return rates, which will both save on revenue for Gucci and cut down on its environmental impact., which is one of the brand’s current priorities.

Furthermore, the pandemic has accelerated online shopping and, while retail in most countries is open for business once more, shoppers are still a little cautious when it comes to visiting physical stores. Plus, with all the talk of second waves of the pandemic, there is a possibility that countries will have to reinstate lockdown rules in the not too distant future.

Joining forces with Snapchat also helps Gucci tap into a larger and younger demographic. Snapchat reaches at least 100 million people in the United States alone, including over 90% of 13-24-year-olds and over 75% of 13 34 year-olds.

This new initiative is the latest in Gucci’s ongoing partnership with Snap Inc. Last year, the brand ran a Portal Lens activation that transported Snapchat users to a Gucci-themed island for its Gift Giving campaign. Gucci also collaborated on a limited-edition pair of Snap’s latest spectacles, partnering with director and photographer Harmony Korine, a regular contributor to the label’s creative projects.

gucci snapchat filter
Gucci’s new shoe try on filter with Snapchat.

While Instagram has usurped the popularity of Snapchat in recent years, the fact that the Kering powerhouse is aligning itself closely with Snap Inc. could be an indicator that the Instagram-Facebook hegemony might be slipping. And notably, throughout the pandemic, the Bytedance-owned TikTok has been gaining ground incrementally.

According to Wallaroom Media, TikTok’s monthly active users has jumped from 680 million to about 800 million in just over a year. According to Sensor Tower, the app had 315 million downloads in the first quarter of 2020 — the best quarter by any app, ever.

This also comes at a time when Facebook is under pressure from the “Stop Hate for Profit” Initiative that has called for brands to pause their ads on the platform and its Instagram subsidiary Instagram for the month of July, in protest of the company’s failure to make the platforms less hostile environments. Brands such as The North Face, Patagonia and REI have joined the boycott.

On Friday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the platform will be cracking down on hate speech in ads that run on the social media site. However, some brands that have already paused their ads on Facebook are demanding more. Following Zuckerberg’s announcement, Patagonia, for instance, one of the bigger companies involved in the movement, reiterated its stance via a post on Twitter.

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