- Adidas partnered with Snapchat for a lens that lets mobile users virtually try on a new running shoe using augmented reality (AR), Engadget reported. The integration will allow consumers to preview the company's new Ultraboost 19 before its Dec. 15 release date.
- The preview is reportedly the first time Snapchat has let users virtually try-on a sneaker with an AR lens. Tapping on the Adidas logo in the menu bar of Snapchat's lenses activates the AR experience, which starts with a brief unboxing video before letting people choose to see more information or try on the virtual shoes.
- Adidas shared the lens with shoppers by AirDrop this week in select locations in New York, Los Angeles and Houston, according to Engadget.
The new lens is Adidas' latest use of Snapchat and AR to engage younger, digitally native mobile users with its brand. Adidas in August sold out of a new style of shoe featured on the "Fashion 5 Ways" Snapchat show and was an early adopter of the platform's shoppable AR feature. Its Adidas Originals brand last month debuted an AR feature at the ComplexCon event in California to promote a limited-edition shoe drop. AR aims to provide a richer, more immersive experience than other kinds of advertising, and its use for virtual try-ons can help clothing or accessory brands to manage customer expectations about a product's form, function and fit before they make a purchase.
Snapchat has made a bigger push to encourage brands to develop AR experiences on its platform. The image-messaging app last month launched a partner program to help advertisers find creative shops that are certified to develop AR lenses. More than 70 million Snapchat users interact with AR lenses every day, spending an average of three minutes with them, according to Snap. This longer engagement time points to why brands are increasingly incorporating immersive features to their marketing mix to more strongly connect with consumers.
Thanks to partnerships like this one with Adidas, Snapchat continues to grow as a platform for social commerce. About one-fourth (28.3%) of U.S. marketers will use Snapchat for marketing purposes this year, eMarketer estimates. The company forecast that Snapchat's U.S. ad revenue will rise 18.7% from a year ago to more than $660 million by the end of 2018.
Adidas is one of the many brands that have leveraged AR try-ons to help consumers shop before making a purchase. Beauty brands, including L'Oréal and Madison Reed, have powered much of the growth in virtual try-ons, from offering samplings of hair color, makeup and nail art to tech-savvy shoppers.