Snapchat’s Newest Ecommerce Experience Brings Together Levi’s, Disney and AR


In its latest attempt to stitch together augmented reality with ecommerce, Snapchat is offering shoppers at the Levi’s store in Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs the ability to buy a limited-edition Levi’s x Mickey Mouse hat directly on the app.

Starting Oct. 27, Snapchat users who scan a Snapcode at the Levi’s store will trigger a Rube Goldberg-type experience, activating a special lens to “try on” the hat that features the world’s most popular rodent. The lens includes a button to “shop now,” and the shopping experience, powered by Shopify, will let them add the item to their bag and buy it for $25.

Unlike the company’s previous AR ecommerce plays with Jordan Brand and Adidas, there’s no stunt here—just a good old fashioned omnichannel experience.

“One of the ways we pursue innovation is by creating unique and immersive experiences with consumers,” said Brady Stewart, svp, LSA Digital at Levi Strauss & Co. “What was important to us was to be able to marry the physical, the digital and the social side of things into one experience as a company.”

Getting brands like Levi’s on the AR train will be important for Snapchat. On its most recent earnings call on Oct. 25, the company revealed that its daily active users total declined again, from 188 million to 186 million. However, Snap generated $297 million in revenue, which was up from $209 million from the same time last year. Evan Spiegel, CEO and cofounder, said during the earnings call that the company’s tic-tac-toe AR game was used by 80 million users—a sign that its users experiment with new AR formats.

Stewart said the concept floated around three to four months ago with the goal of bringing alive the “viral element” of the hat and experience. Though customers have to scan a Snapcode to gain access to the merchandise, the Snapcode can be screenshotted and shared with people not in the area—an element the Levi’s team is banking on.

“[Most people] will only be able to experience that if you’re in Disney Springs,” Stewart said. “[But] people who unlock the Snapcode are actually able to share it with friends and family.”

Levi’s chose to partner with Snapchat for this experience because of the “ephemeral, lighthearted nature” of the app, as well as “strength in AR.”

“When we think about partnerships in general, with digital businesses and our direct to consumer business, we usually do this with social and technology companies that we believe are influencing the way consumers shop,” Stewart said.

Darkstore, which serves as the fulfillment part of this four-company party, will offer free same-day delivery for all Disney resorts and surrounding hotels as long as they order by 4 p.m. For customers outside of that delivery zone (or if someone in that zone orders after 4 p.m.), Darkstore will offer free two-day delivery.

Though this commerce experience is all about the Mickey Mouse hat and Disney, Darkstore’s CEO and founder Lee Hnetinka said the item will “sell out pretty quickly.”

“People who buy Levi’s and Mickey Mouse, that’s something they love,” Hnetinka said. “They want it for themselves. I don’t think there’ll be a big resale of it.”

Lee said he’s seen a “significant uptick” in brands who are interested in this AR and commerce experience as a virtual pop-up shop.

“Get it, try it on, share it—that’s never been done before,” Hnetinka said. “We continue to push forward the limits of reality.”

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