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Snapchat invests in Spring to capitalize on social commerce growth

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May 27, 2015

mobile commerceSnapchat combines mobile messaging and mobile commerce with its reported recent investment in shopping application Spring, capitalizing on the growing popularity of conversational commerce.

The mobile messaging app has integrated a varied spectrum of mobile app categories into one platform, climbing its way to become an important destination for millennials on mobile. Its Spring investment may be what Snapchat needs to further its ambitions, with mobile messaging commerce growing in social media and mobile apps such as Facebook and Twitter.

Spring is a shopping mobile app that catalogs all the consumer’s favorite brands in one place and operates as a virtual shopping center, rather than users having to download multiple apps for multiple brands.

“Snapchat’s foray into mobile commerce will make it easier for consumers to purchase products on mobile,” said Dane Holewinski, cofounder and chief operating officer at Yozio. “Consumers will now be able to leverage Snapchat’s reach, nascent payment platform, and the power of their social network.

“The challenge is that there will be a another layer of fragmentation which will add complexity for commerce companies looking to drive mobile sales,” he said. “Like with mobile operating systems, there will be winners, like Android & iOS and losers, like Windows and Blackberry.

“This partnership with Spring will enable Snapchat to quickly experiment with social commerce without having to build a commerce business themselves. For Spring, this partnership allows them to overcome their largest barrier to growth, discovery and user acquisition, using Snapchat’s reach and the power of their social network, Spring has the potential to quickly scale user acquisition.”

Both parties have declined to comment on the news and have not officially confirmed the investment.

In-store experience
Snapchat has been rolling out numerous new features to entice millennial use. With the rise of social commerce, its partnership with Spring is likely an extension of this to capitalize on shopping through messaging.

Social commerce generates the personal impression that an in-store shopping experience gives, but with the convenience of mobile shopping.

Services and apps on mobile devices are rapidly updating with options and features to make consumers’ lives easier. With each new feature a platform introduces, other companies need to adjust and constantly evolve to stay relevant in the ever-changing industry.

The consumer experience on mobile devices allows for an on-demand system of services and purchasing. The constant developmental growth of these platforms means that users now expect a personal, fast and easy shopping experience.

Social payments
Last year, Snapchat introduced a user-to-user payment option, in which users can enter their credit card information to send payments to each other. The recent investment into Spring is likely an extension of its interest in mobile commerce.

In a reflection of the increasing frequency with which millennials leverage their mobile devices to make small payments to one another, Facebook brought person-to-person payments to its Messenger application (see more).

Snapchat also took another step towards its goal of becoming the go-to place for millennials with the release of music videos on its Discover feature, while Spotify introduced a redesign for mobile users with a focus on video content, moves that turn up the heat on YouTube in the digital music video scene (see more).

“Snapchat’s desire to add commerce into the app makes sense; Spring’s curated list of brands would be a perfect match for its key audience: millennials,” said Brian Lichtenberger, cofounder of 7Park Data. “The move also emulates the trend by messaging apps looking to expand beyond pure-play messaging into mobile platforms offering a broad array of functionality.”

“Spring clearly benefits from the potential to showcase its stable of brands in front of Snapchat’s massive growing mobile audience, particularly among younger mobile users,” he said. “7Park Data’s App Intelligence showed that nearly 70 percent of U.S. teens using Snapchat in May, with almost half of that audience engaging with the app on a daily basis.

“Snapchat is building a highly compelling platform for brands to reach a large, growing audience on mobile,” he said. “If Snapchat can continue to keep this audience engaged, brands (and advertising dollars) will follow.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

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