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Snapchat E-commerce Ads

27 min listen

The Ecwid E-Commerce Show hosts Jesse and Rich talk with Kathleen Gambarelli who handles Group Product Marketing for Direct Response at Snapchat. They discuss Snapchat as a visual communication platform and give an introduction to the app for newbies.

Show Notes

  • Demographics of users
  • Stories, Spectacles, Filters
  • Pixel Installation
  • Dynamic Ads
  • Instant Create
  • Sell on Snapchat
  • Special promotion — Spend $50, Get $150 Free


Jesse: Hello, Richie. Happy Friday again!

Richard: Yes, it’s that time.

Jesse: Today is pretty exciting. We get a completely new topic and a completely new platform. We’ve talked about a lot of stuff. This is new stuff here. Anybody who’s looked at the title probably knows we’re going to talk about Snapchat.

Richard: Yes, super exciting. One of the things I’m looking forward to more than anything is some of the new features that they have built in. I haven’t really played on Snapchat that much. And I want to know more about it. I have a couple of clients with the audience that is on Snapchat. And so hearing more about how you don’t even have to have a big following, but you could still take advantage of that market. I’m super, super excited about this conversation.

Jesse: That’s awesome. I want to make sure you don’t play with your phone. You pay attention to the guest. (laughing) Snapchat has been more really more of the pioneer in social media. The other guys keep stealing all their best stuff and then copying it, all of it. But Snapchat keeps making all the latest and greatest, all the new stuff. We don’t know everything about it here. Let’s bring in the expert. Let’s bring in Kathleen. Kathleen Gambarelli. Kathleen, how are you?

Kathleen: Hi, everyone! Good, good. Thank you. Great to be here.

Jesse: All right. You are actually at Snapchat Group Product Marketing for Direct Response. Get some knowledge to share with us here today?

Kathleen: That is correct. Yes. I’m a chief of our group of our product marketing team, a division over DR. So that’s really all of our performance solutions that range from mobile app promotion to our commerce partnerships like yourself, as well as a lot of the first-party solutions that we’re bringing to the table around e-commerce. Really excited to chat a lot about these solutions today.

Jesse: Awesome. Oh, I definitely got to dig into the e-commerce part of it. But we want to take it back a couple of steps here. As we mentioned in the intro here, we haven’t really talked Snapchat on the podcast that much. Let’s bring it back for people that haven’t really played with it before. What is Snapchat?

Kathleen: That’s a good question. I think depending on who you ask, Snapchat can probably be a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I would say, at our very core, we really consider ourselves to be a visual communication platform. I’d say the majority of our users are keeping or using it to keep in touch with their closest network of friends on a daily basis. If you look at certain generations like millennials and gen Z, this makes a lot of sense because they’re using pictures and videos as a means of communication even more than text messaging. It’s really because it’s just a faster, richer way to communicate. Communication is really number one. The other thing I would say that is on the rise in something that we’ve been investing in quite substantially these last couple years is really to be this platform for content consumption. The Discover section of our app, which is on the right-hand side, is really starting to grow. We actually have over 450 premium content partners that we work with. This is everything from news channels like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Vice. And then also the ability to follow your favorite celebrities, influencers and really get in the center of the action. That’s another area too, especially as we have this whole generation of cord-cutters. They’re really looking to have all of their news, entertainment on the go. So the Discover platform has really been a destination for that type of consumption on the go and within mobile.

Jesse: Got it. And now, with those extraditions, is that why people are spending so much time on Snapchat? I’ve seen the stats; it’s staggering that Snapchat is their preferred platform, it’s like that’s their life.

Kathleen: It’s pretty significant. On average, we see that an average snapchatter opens the app 20 times a day and spends 30 minutes in the app. It’s pretty substantial. But again, if you think about it as really a utility-based platform for communication, that’s something that you’re going to be using throughout your entire day. But I think definitely with the additions that we have with all of the content and original shows that we’re doing, we’re giving a lot more different ways for snapchatters to really engage on a daily basis — a lot of exciting stuff.

Jesse: Very cool. With Snapchat, there’s definitely some demographics that prefer it. Who uses Snapchat in general?

Kathleen: Sure. A couple of days ago, we actually announced that we have now 210 million daily active users globally, rose up from 203 million in the previous quarter, really continuing to grow. I’d say the US is our largest market, and we’re really dominant within the 13 to 34-year-old age cohort. In fact, we reach 90% of all 13 to 24-year-olds in the US and 75% of all 13 to 34-year-olds, which is pretty huge numbers in terms of reach. I think businesses these days realize what a valuable customer base that potentially is. This gen Z-millennial cohort that has just a ton of spending power. The ability to get a lot of reach from that demo on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis is really where we found our sweet spot to be in terms of a brand appeal for sure.

Jesse: I mean, I think we’re going to be on the podcast page and be highlighting those stats because it is pretty staggering that older people, myself included here, think like: “You just have to have Google and Facebook, and you’re pretty well covered.” Well, take a look at the younger people looking at their phones. They’re not looking at Google and Facebook for sure. You need to reach them. And if that’s your customer base, I think that’s why we want to bring Snapchat to our audience. If your customers are there, you really need to think about how you can get in front of them.

Kathleen: Exactly. Yeah, incremental reaches is certainly a huge appeal for businesses.

Jesse: Very cool. To give people a visual, as this is a podcast. When people are looking at Snapchat, what are they looking at? We mentioned the Discover, that’s more content. They’re doing messaging to their friends and such. But there’s all the AR. There’s all the kind of the newer stuff going on, the lenses, GEO targeting. Is that still a big part of the platform or more bells and whistles now?

Kathleen: Absolutely. When you’re opening up Snapchat, you’re opening up directly to the camera. That’s our version of the home screen. And the reason being is, is we’re pushing you right into a destination in order to create. That camera is really where we house all of our AR technology. From our world lenses to our face lenses, which we’re probably most famous for, that’s really where the entry point of how people are engaging. And then on the left side of the app is where you have a chat, which I was mentioning earlier. It is really where people are using it from one to one communication with their closest network of friends. In fact, actually, half of snapchatters are more likely to be communicating with their best friends rather than broadcasting to a large audience, which is, I think, a misconception that we hear a lot. And ultimately, what that means is they’re just more comfortable to create to be themselves and talk to their friends in a way that is more ephemeral. And then on the right-hand side is where we have all of our discover content in which you can subscribe to premium publishers, watch original shows and really just drop you right in the center of the action of everything that’s going on. That’s more of a lean-back environment where they’re getting their news and information on the go.

Jesse: Got it. That really helps to give people a visual representation of what it is. If you’re listening, guys, you can just go download the app and sign up, and you could get yourself. But while you’re listening, think about it. To me, how that compares to other platforms. In the Instagram world, people are looking at this very stylized, perfect image of the world, maybe not interacting as much from what you were saying. In Snapchat, people are interacting. It’s more about their friends rather than just pictures like “Hey, look at this perfect, perfect picture.” We’re on Facebook. It’s more a bunch of pictures of family and it’s a different world. Snapchat has its own world. If you’re listening, people out there and trying to think, where does this fit in? Hopefully, that helps you think of how that’s different from other platforms.

Kathleen: I think that the way that people are using cameras has completely changed. In these past few years, it’s not necessarily just used to capture a static image at one point in time. But I think all of the advancements that you’ve seen to mobile devices in that there’s faster processing time, extremely sophisticated cameras. The cameras are location-aware because they’re attached to smartphones all. All of those advancements have really given rise to more applications for the camera through the rise of really computer vision. All that’s to say is that now that’s really powering Snapchat in terms of how you can engage with the camera. You can use it as a means for augmented reality and discovering the world around you. I can use it for translating text in real-time or just as a fun way of creative expression with my closest friend. So the types and diverse ways that you can actually use a camera have really changed. I think that’s really what is native to Snapchat. It is the creativity that’s involved with using the camera and then using it as a means for communication.

Jesse: Well, that’s awesome. Yeah, I think that really helps. Like thinking of when you open it up, it’s the camera first and what that opens up to people.

Richard: It’s fantastic. I love all these other things and would love to dive into spectacles and all these things and just really about how to grow an audience, too. But I think just to keep people from feeling overwhelmed, “Oh, my gosh, I got to start building on another platform.” Although if their audience is there and they want to create content, then they definitely should be doing that as well. But think of an Ecwid user right now that’s listening to this podcast that thinks: “This is great. And I’d love to take advantage of that audience.” What is something they could do right now, today, this week, in the next couple of weeks to actually take advantage of that audience without having to worry about building a big audience in Snapchat?

Kathleen: Yeah, that’s a great question. It could be helpful to frame this in terms of what our philosophy towards building ad creators is. We’ve always taken the approach to understanding what kind of organic engagement snapchatters are having in our app that they’re using, and they love every day and really making sure that we’re building a branded experience that reflects that. With the different formats that we have from Snap ads to Story ads and Collection ads and even lenses as well, we’re really giving brands the same exact tools as snapchatters are using organically to bring that brand expression to life. What that makes for is a much more native organic feel for the ads that they’re engaging with. Also, being mindful that we’re designing for the mobile generation and mobile experience. All that’s to say is as much as we’re innovating on that, the formats themselves, we are putting as equal of an investment in making those tools and creation as simple as possible for businesses. Still, the best place to get started really is to set up a business account on our website. And then that really opens up the possibility to use our self-serve buying tools, which we call Ads manager. The easiest way for a Snapchat novice is to work through our Instant Create flow in order to set up a campaign. You can actually just plug in your website, and we can pull all of the images that are contained within your website. Then you can simply create an ad, just from that, you are all alone. We give it a really easy way without having to upload anything or create brand new assets, basically taking what you have and then being able to set up a campaign very simply. Then within that campaign flow, you can also select an audience; you can add on measurement and then really launch those campaigns directly from that self-serve tool. I’d recommend that as probably the best place to get started. Perfect for e-commerce businesses that have a number of products that are featured on your site as the best way to get on board.

Jesse: Well, that’s perfect. Kathleen, I will say we went through the Instant Create process, and it was pretty slick. I’ve created a lot of ads on different platforms. I think you guys really fine-tuned the onboarding to make it very simple. There’s just a couple of steps you need to do, and you’re ready to go with an ad. I did want to mention, as far as why is Ecwid talking to Snapchat, we have already built an integration. We have a pixel integration. If you’re listening, Ecwid merchants, go through your Control Panel. Check out the Snapchat section. It’s basically a one-click pixel installation. So, yes, you need a business account with Snapchat. That’s very easy. You want to get that pixel installed so you can track the traffic, track sales, things like that. Definitely, get that done even if you’re not ready for the next steps yet.

Kathleen: Absolutely.

Jesse: Now, Kathleen, we heard a pretty big announcement about a week ago that I’m personally excited about. Can you give some more color to that?

Kathleen: Yeah. This has been definitely a long time in the making, but we recently announced the support of a brand new set of solutions around dynamic add capability. So this is a massive investment for the last couple of years really that actually started, I would say with the launch of the Snap Pixel back in 2017. And that’s really where we got our start about building a lot of these foundational elements that are really critical for performance for marketers or e-com businesses. That’s the ability to measure, to create audiences in real-time, as well as optimize their campaigns towards things that really matter for their business, like driving new purchases from new customers. And so with all of those pieces in place, then we really had this performance stack that allowed us to automate that entire process through dynamic ads pretty much. And very simply, it sounds like most of your audience is probably familiar with dynamic ads. But you can easily take your product catalog, your product feed and sync it to our system and then tie it to the Snap Pixel, which captures actions that are happening on your website, like page views, adding items to cart. And then, when a snapchatter opens their app, we can render at ads from your product catalog in real-time. The great thing about that is it’s extremely relevant and high intent. We’re also taking all of the work that you’ve already done and showcasing your products and making it very easily accessible within the buying flow. I would say that the interesting angle that Snapchat brings to the table when it comes to dynamic ads is first our audience, always our audience. Not just the fact that they’re so deeply engaged, we can reach a really incremental user base so that you’re driving additional sales, which can tie in nicely if you’re running across other marketing platforms. And then the other piece is creative. I would say we can always hang our heads on the quality of our creative. We’re offering advertisers a number of different creative templates actually to visualize their products within. The fact that they’re full-screen maximizing the real estate for mobile makes them super engaging and really highlighting branded products and their best potential.

Jesse: Oh, that’s great. Dynamic ads are usually a low hanging fruit in e-commerce because you’ve driven people to your store one way or another. Right. And then people get to the products and then they don’t buy for whatever reason. So that’s usually like the highest performing ads. Super excited that Snapchat has it. I think, if you’re able to deal with product feeds and a little bit of ads, this is probably the best performing ads, maybe not as easy as the Instant Create that you mentioned before. But why not do this if you’re already paying for traffic? Why not pay for traffic for people that visited your products already?

Kathleen: I would say that one of the more difficult pieces in the process of launching dynamic ads can be installing the pixel, which is why I’m really excited about the integration that we have. That makes it extremely simple with just a click. You’re able to install this across your entire website and make sure that everything is set up from a technical standpoint so that you can actually power these campaigns. That’s a huge hurdle that a lot of businesses would have to go through that can be alleviated by this really simple setup.

Jesse: For sure. Most people listening are on Ecwid. If you’re on a different platform, yeah, it’s going to be hard to install the pixels on each step of the card. Just saying that’s already done for you. The ability to go from a pixel installation, uploading your product feed to Snapchat, and then create these ads, we’re talking in half an hour you’re probably ready to go. Maybe faster, just allowing for a little bit of time to read some how-tos and things like that. But yeah, super excited. You guys have this. I think this is probably the most profitable way that people can start with Snapchat. If you’re going and the holidays are coming, everybody. If you’re thinking: “Boy, I really should kick into gear on some marketing.” I think now is your time here. Snapchat has come by with a pretty… I would say this is probably the best promotion we’ve had of any platform. Actually, I don’t think it is. I know it is. Kathleen, what’s the promo here to get people to check it out?

Kathleen: Yeah. We have an awesome promo. If you spend $50, you’re going to have $150 for free to launch a campaign. So highly encourage you to get testing on our platform. I think these dollars will go a long way and really help to simplify it even further with the dynamic ad capabilities that we just introduced.

Jesse: Yeah, that’s awesome. If you’re listening, everybody. 50$ to get $150 free. So a total of two hundred! I really hope that encourages people there to give it a shot. I hope this link, the coupon codes don’t get spread around too much because it’s probably that good of a deal. If you’re interested because this is a pretty good deal, we can’t just be flashing coupon codes everywhere because otherwise, you guys know how that happens. If you’re interested, please go to the podcast page at Ecwid.com/blog/podcast, and then you go look for the Snapchat episode. We’ll put a link right up top that you have to click through. That’s how we can make sure that you get credit, and you get the deal. If you want the URL, I’ll spell it out there. But here it is. Ecwid.com/blog/Snapchat-ecommerce-ads. I won’t say it again. Rewind. Or really just go to Ecwid.com/blog/podcast. Look for the Snapchat page, and you’ll click through there. I definitely think this is a good way to go. Richard, are we going to put this in the show notes here? You’re gonna give me a reminder.

Richard: I’ll hand you on it.

Jesse: All right. I know sometimes I say I want to put in the show notes then that we forget and people email me, but we’re gonna get this one in. If your customers are in this demographic, this is sort of a no brainer, really. 50 bucks, get 150 free.

Richard: I mean it’s like getting three times more of the game. (laughing) It’s not quite but kind of.

Jesse: This is coming out in November, too. So it’s right in the money season of the holidays.

Richard: If you’re going to test ads, why not test ads on someone else’s dollars? We’re not making anything up. You want them to be successful. Right. You want them to be successful. You wouldn’t be just giving away money for the sake of giving money. You’re doing this because you think you can help them and you’re hoping they’ll spend more money later. And if it works, they should.

Kathleen: Absolutely correct. I think that’s why we are so excited about this. And we’ll continue to make investments for performance in e-commerce because we really understand how important it is to drive return on investment. I think that’s what we continue to highlight, as our success stories unfold. But specifically with the dynamic, I’d seen a lot of early signs of success. Shady Rays, who is a sunglass brand, is one of our early testing partners, saw a 66% decrease in cost per purchase, and a 286% increase in the return on ad spend. A lot of these small and large businesses certainly see really great return on ad spend because the power that automation brings along with this personalization is really driving a lot of efficiency for these brands.

Jesse: Yeah, for sure. Dynamic ads just work, in a nutshell. To recap, for people that weren’t really listening, go install your pixel, get your Snapchat business account, and then you’re going to click on this link to get the promo definitely. Let’s not forget, you get some free money here. And then if you do Instant Create, it seems like if you want more general ads, if you want the ads we’re just talking about, that’s dynamic ads that do require a little product feed and things like that, which support can help you out with.

Richard: Depending upon when you hear this, either just came out or talked about to come out in a couple of days.

Jesse: Very true. Next year it’s definitely out. (laughing) All right, Kathleen. Where else should people go if interested? Where should they go to learn more about Snapchat?

Kathleen: Sure. I would definitely encourage everyone to head over to our forbusiness.snapchat.com site. We’ve got a section there on inspiration and success stories, which is from different brands, different regions, and across the different sorts of goals and objectives. And I think that would be an awesome place to just sort of get a feel for what others are doing on our platform and what success really looks like, how to think about creative and messaging. That should be really good framework to start as you’re thinking about your first marketing efforts on Snapchat.

Jesse: Yeah. Awesome. I think that’s really helpful for people that maybe aren’t aware of it, but a ton of resources out there for you. Yeah. I’m pumped like it’s a whole another avenue that maybe we don’t think of every day. But glad we were able to talk with you, Kathleen. It’s been great. Rich, any last thoughts here?

Richard: Let’s see. I’ve got a few. But other than wanting to go set up my own account right now, I would just say that we covered so much. Was there anything we missed? Is there anything else that because there are so many exciting things going on, is there anything we should have asked you?

Kathleen: I think we covered it. I feel like we covered the core; we got a great audience. We got some pretty amazing formats. We’ve got this audience that is young, has a ton of spending power. And we’re excited to bring all of our tools and make it more accessible to businesses of all sizes. I’m really excited to be able to talk about some of these solutions today and be integrating with partners such as yourselves to make it even simpler for all these brands.

Jesse: All right. Perfect.

Richard: I’m ready to go sign up.

Jesse: All right, Rich, sign up. Everybody listening, pick up your phone, install Snapchat. Go to the website. Get your $150 bucks. All right. Make it happen.

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