Snap offers AR technology to enterprises, Jill Popelka to head

Snap, owner of photo messaging app Snapchat, announced the launch of AR Enterprise Services (ARES) to boost revenue from enterprises by supplying augmented reality (AR) features for their websites or apps.
SNAP AR Enterprise ServicesThe business division marks the first time Snap will sell to business customers its AR technology, which can enhance photos and videos of the real world with computerized images, Jill Popelka, head of AR Enterprise Services, said.

Snap said it first offering for ARES is Shopping Suite, which provides 3D Viewer, AR Try-On, Fit Finder, and more – directly on merchants’ own apps and websites. Shopping Suite is available today and currently includes AR shopping for fashion, apparel, and accessories.

Shopping Suite will provide tools for companies to build features that allow customers to virtually try-on clothes or view a product from all angles in 3D, which could help increase sales and reduce returns.

What’s Shopping Suite?

Businesses can leverage dedicated services for AR asset creation and robust technical implementation support. The Shopping Suite’s AR asset creation services help businesses create digital versions of their apparel, footwear, and eyewear products using proprietary photogrammetry hardware and machine learning creation pipelines to deliver high fidelity assets optimized for end user performance.

Businesses can manage and optimize their AR assets and integrations, measure performance analytics, and receive dedicated Shopping Suite support.

Businesses can integrate AR Try-On, Fit Finder, and interactive 3D Viewer technology into their own apps and websites, offering shoppers the ability to receive accurate fit and sizing recommendations, try-on or view products in augmented reality, and interact with products in 3D.

More than 300 customers are already using some combination of Shopping Suite features, and there are seeing promising results from early customers:

Goodr leveraged AR Try-On and interactive 3D Viewer technology to replicate the experience of in-store shopping on customers’ mobile devices and saw an 81 percent uplift in add-to-cart and 67 percent uplift in conversion for mobile device users, leading to a 59 percent increase in revenue per visitor.

Princess Polly incorporated Fit Finder and AR Try-On features to deliver recommendations to over 7.5 million shoppers who had a 24 percent reduced return rate than shoppers not using the technology.

Gobi Cashmere’s conversion rate was 4X higher for shoppers using Fit Finder recommendations and AR Try-On for clothing, helping provide personalized experiences to 1 in 4 of shoppers.

Advancing the field of AR has been a focus at Snap in recent years and it says over 250 million people engage with AR every day on Snapchat, which originally became popular among young users for photo filters that could add whimsical elements such as bunny ears.

The enterprise venture also comes as Snap is seeking to diversify its revenue beyond digital advertising, which currently comprises the vast majority of its revenue, Reuters news report said. Snap has reported revenue of $4.6 billion (+12 percent) and net loss of $1.43 billion in 2022.

The pricing model for business customers will be very flexible. Certain arrangements with clients could allow Snap to earn a cut of product sales driven by Snap’s AR tools.

Artificial intelligence is also helping advance Snap’s AR capabilities. The company is using AI to take a two-dimensional image and make it appear 3D without the need to first build a 3D model. That has helped shave off 40 to 60 hours in the creation of high quality 3D images, which can now be done in as little as a few hours, Popelka said.