American instant messaging and augmented reality (AR) platform Snapchat, today, announced that it is going to partner with Flipkart to deliver an AR-based e-commerce experience on the marketplace. The partnership is Snap Inc’s first collaboration with an Indian e-commerce firm.
“We will embed Camera Kit from Snap on our app and also work with the entire ecosystem, platform, tooling etc. that Snap enables to create new experiences for users,” said Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Flipkart. The companies didn’t confirm when these new features will be rolled out, but said they will be working on producing new features using Snap’s AR platform.
Snapchat’s Camera Kit software development kit (SDK) was announced in June last year and allows other developers to plug the Snapchat camera directly into their app, offering the same interface and the company’s “lenses” function, which offer specialized AR features. “We believe that 40% of the Gen-Z and Millennial population in India will be frequent AR users and the entire space is booming,” said Nana Murugesan, Managing Director, International Markets.
“This offering is much more than just an SDK. It extends beyond that to things like our tracking and rendering engine, which can be accessed through the Lens Studio software. Flipkart will also gain access to our ecosystem of over 200,000 creators,” he added.
Further, Venugopal said that Flipkart will be looking at ways to enable more “social sharing” of its catalogues. The company had launched a social commerce-focused platform called Shopsy in July this year, and Venugopal noted that social commerce is one of the aspects being emphasized with this partnership. “More than the social element, we also believe that it’s an important value added tool for users. For example, if you’re trying to use AR features to make a buying decision of say a watch, you want to know how the watch actually looks at you,” he added.
Flipkart already offers some AR features on its app, but will be able to use Snap’s software to add 30 of Snapchat’s Lenses to the Flipkart app.
This is Snapchat’s second partnership with Camera Kit in India. The company had announced a partnership with short-video platform Moj in February this year, which allowed the platform exclusive access to the software. “This is all about taking AR beyond those initial use-cases of communication and entertainment, and into commerce. It’s really an entirely different use-case,” said Murugesan, adding that the company has seen a 94% conversion rate in AR advertising.