Who are you?
— My name is Lars Bo Jeppesen, I’m the GM of Snapchat in the Nordics. We’re here at our Fashion and Beauty event where we will demonstrate the power of AR technology. It really empowers Snapchatters to explore all the opportunities within fashion and beauty. The reverse of that is also, of course, all the opportunities the advertisers have to let people be main actors or actresses in their own movies, leveraging all the fashion and beauty items when they want to try them on and have fun. For the last two to three years, the development has really propelled and now, creators around the world produce thousands of new lenses every day and with the new technology, more and more becomes possible. And what I think really excites a lot of users as well as advertisers is the Try-On opportunities within the AR technology.
You mean Virtual Try-Ons? How do you work with it?
— Yes, or Augmented Try-Ons, just not to confuse. How we use it is relatively simple. You open the Snapchat app into the camera and then you see a picture of yourself. Then we have a Lens Carousel — a carousel with a lot of different lenses — and each lens is basically a computerised layer that you can choose and have laid on top of yourself and your own image. We’ve done campaigns with Rains and H&M and one recent with Swedish beauty brand Lyko, letting the user try different lipsticks or other beauty products. In the Nordics, we have around 500 partners within fashion and beauty — globally, it’s many thousands. I just tried the Prada bags here at the event, where I choose a bag and have that lens on top of the image of myself, swipe, and try all the different models I like. And then I decide that I like the red one and just push a button to have it delivered to my doorstep.
So, it’s also a salespoint?
— It’s absolutely a salespoint and that is what I really think is interesting for all the advertisers. AR technology is not just about entertaining Snapchatters, it’s about growing advertisers’ business.
And what is it that these advertisers value the most? The salespoint? The marketing opportunity?
— It of course depends on the businesses and the advertisers’ specific audiences but ultimately, all marketing should end in a sale. I’m 55 and as long as I’ve lived, we’ve always been really good at the upper funnel of branding and awareness. And then, as we had the digital transformation of the marketing industry, it became more about moving down the funnel to conversion and consideration. But I think with AR technology, where you actually shift from talking to people using models. Instead, you talk to the users and make them their own model that they try on and then can convert into a sale. Around 80% of Snapchatters feel more confident about buying a product when they try it on. So, that’s good for the user, it’s definitely good for the brands and has the potential to reduce the climate pressure dramatically. One in three items were returned last year, for instance in the UK — the return rate is the biggest burden to all e-commerce businesses.
Do you see any limits here?
— This is only the beginning. With the potential we have right now, I don’t see any limits in the next many, many years but I do see that it will take time to scale. The most positive thing is that almost everybody in the world has a mobile phone…
Your target group has been quite young and a large share of Gen-Z is, in general, rather sceptical about consuming. When you mention it as a salespoint, who are you reaching out to?
— That obviously depends on the target audience and the products. Prada would have a very different target audience from Rains, H&M, or Lyko. What I can say and what I think is important, is that if you think on a monthly basis, we reach 49% of the Swedish population. In Denmark, 40% of our users are 35 years old or older. In Sweden, it’s 33%. In Norway, I don’t know the exact number, but given that it’s a more mature market, I’d anticipate that it’s close to 50%. I think that we have been not good enough at explaining our target audience. Everyone thinks that it’s only young people while actually, at least one-third in our region are thirty-five or older, says Jeppesen.
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