Snapchat’s virtual mall demonstrates the growing appetite for immersive retail experiences
Posted on 2023 Jul,24

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Snap Inc.announces a 33% increase in visitors to the second edition of its pioneering Snap AR Ramadan Mall. Such a significant increase is very much revealing of the appetite for immersive retail experiences across the region. 

The 2023 activation, which saw collaborations with leading brands such as American Eagle, Ounass and Faces, is said to have reached more than 12 million shoppers throughout the holy month. What’s more, the platform achieved an average play time of over 26.3 seconds and succeeded in creating a deeper connection between brands and consumers that resulted in 2.1 times the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Unique to the platform, the Snap AR Ramadan Mall was launched in 2022 as an extraordinary shopping experience for Snapchatters to engage better with their favourite brands through a virtual, true-to-life marketplace.

From eye-catching product demonstrations to personalized experiences and access to exclusive collections, the ability to virtually interact with products in a real setting before purchase is proven to increase propensity to spend, increase the size of order baskets, and reduce returns.

In fact, in Snap’s most recent retail white paper with PwC titled ‘The shift towards immersive shopping: New opportunities for retailers in KSA’ , 80% of KSA consumers felt more confident in their purchases when using AR, whilst 66% of people are less likely to return an item they bought via AR try-on.

Mohammed Bouarib, Senior Creative Strategist for Snap Inc. MENA, said: “The Snap Ramadan AR Mall resonates with consumers because it showcases a bold, live and fresh approach to shopping in the Middle East that puts them in a buying mindset. Due to the proven success of the Snap AR Ramadan Mall in its inaugural year, we were able to proudly scale participation in 2023 and provide an opportunity for brands to introduce innovation into product sales that drive real business results. This includes an 8+ point lift in brand awareness, 10+ point lift in ad awareness and a 10x increase in action intent, proving that AR is an essential tool in the marketing mix all the way through the funnel.”

Fuelling these success metrics is the positive community of family and friends that live on Snapchat, of which 90% say they are more happy when using - more than any other platform.

“When people are in an environment of real relationships and in a happy mindset, they are more likely to engage with brand content in the same way they engage with content from close friends. The Snap AR Ramadan Mall was able to enhance and provide Snapchatters with an immersive retail experience at a time where friends and family come together more than ever.  We look forward to working with more brands from the retail sector to explore the limitless possibilities of Augmented Reality and create innovative ways to connect with our highly engaged audience,” added Bouarib.

“Ramadan is an incredibly important occasion for our customers and to reach them in the most relevant and innovative way we partnered with Snapchat to bring both Bath and Body Works & American Eagle stores to them via augmented reality. By creating a unique shopping experience, customers could easily engage with both the brands and products in an environment in which they already spent vast amounts of time, enabling a greater immersive, connected experience to both brands”, said Anne Tulloch, Integrated Marketing Communications Director at Alshaya Group.

Snap and its industry leading AR technology has been transforming the way customers experience fashion and beauty for some time, helping to make it even more personal, accessible and convenient. Ultimately, brands that adopt a winning AR strategy now, will have a competitive advantage in the future.