Words by Farimah Moeini, Snapchat Head of Industry – Retail and Travel
The region is in the midst of a shopping revolution. The pandemic has accelerated the e-commerce transition, and this year’s back-to-school shopping will embrace this new norm.
The online shopping boom has irrevocably changed consumer behaviour. Traditional shopping habits have been supplemented, if not replaced by augmented reality (AR), communication platforms, and peer recommendations. Retailers looking to stand out in this year’s back to school season need to harness these new ways of communicating, become a part of the new generation shoppers’ squad, and embrace new consumer engagement behaviours to ultimately drive conversions.
The new ‘squad in the back pocket’ Advertising and marketing messaging is no longer enough to influence young people’s purchasing behaviour. Now, customer advocacy, reviews, or recommendations from friends and family, are key for shoppers and potential customers to purchase anything.
There are a number of reasons for why this is, however, the main one is that this generation of native digital consumers spend most of their time online now. Traditional advertising is simply not impactful enough to influence this generation, as they consume most of their content online – on social media or otherwise. For retailers looking to drive conversions, being part of the squad and having a cool and creative edge is vital. There is nothing stronger than a recommendation coming from your best friend. Snapchat’s immersive formats naturally become a part of the conversation. Video, stories and AR, and sharing purchases on social platforms is a behaviour this generation absolutely enjoys and it needs to be facilitated. Retailers that are able to offer these formats as a part of the conversation have the back-to-school advantage.
A recent study demonstrated 93% of ‘Snapchatters’ use the app when shopping for back-to-school items. One of the reasons could be because it’s a source of inspiration directly from their friends and family. In this new space, Snapchat plays a unique role as a ‘squad in their back pocket’.
Snapchat has an engaged community of Gen Z and millennials, be it parents or students, with 75 million monthly addressable reach in MENA and 19.5 million monthly addressable reach in KSA . Snapchat reaches 90% of 13-34 year olds in KSA, and 62% of Snapchatters in KSA are parents.
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