Snapchat has shored up its ecommerce offerings with the acquisition of Fit Analytics just as Apple threatens to bite off a massive chunk of its profits.
The multimedia messaging app’s parent company Snap‘s purchase of the Berlin-based startup will enable Snapchat to tap into online shopping in a new way. Fit Analytics’ machine learning tools make it easier for customers to find clothes that fit them when shopping online. Using “production size chart data and body-modelling expertise” it provides “360-degree fit prediction”.
According to the company, it has already partnered with household names such as Asos, Calvin Klein, Patagonia, and Puma, and has worked with some 18,000 retailers in total. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the company confirmed that it will continue to serve customers after the acquisition.
In a statement, Fit Analytics said: “This acquisition will strengthen Fit Analytics’ position as an industry leader in apparel and footwear technology. If you are a Fit Analytics partner, this is only the beginning. By leveraging Snap’s scale and capabilities, we will not only continue to service our existing clients, but also deepen our relationships and offerings with our brand partners and retailers. Our main focus going forward will be to scale the Fit Analytics business and work with Snap to grow their shopping platform, leveraging our technology and expertise. Our teams will be jointly executing on next-gen shopping, fashion and style offerings.”
This not Snapchat’s first foray into ecommerce. It launched its Visual Search feature in 2018, enabling users to point their snapchat camera at physical products or barcodes, tap and hold the screen, and then be directed to Amazon to keep shopping.
Last year, the company also rolled out a number of developer tools aimed at the world of ecommerce. Gucci developed an AR lense that allows Snapchat users to virtually try on shoes and then purchase them from within the app.
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Apple is expecting to roll out its upcoming privacy update soon. It will require users to actively give permission to applications to track their journeys across the web.
For companies like Snapchat that relies on this type of tracking for their revenue stream, the policy presents serious concerns for their cash flow.
In that light, Snap buying Fit Analytics could potentially be seen as a way to shore up its capital before Apple users cut them off.
With the Covid-19 pandemic sparking an ecommerce boom, social media giants have been on a mission to get a slice of the pie. In February, Facebook launched its ecommerce tool Facebook Shop in the UK and Canada. Facebook-owned Instagram’s own ecommerce feature Instagram Shopping lets users shop for items that appear in photos and videos.