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    New Balance unties Snap’s AR, voice tech to offer gifting advice

    • Snap and New Balance unveiled a lens that leverages a mix of augmented reality (AR) and speech-recognition technology to offer gift recommendations across footwear, apparel and accessories, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
    • The Holiday Gifting Concierge Lens, which is now available, includes a selfie mode where users can verbally answer questions about their recipient using Snap’s voiceML’s technology for help when selecting a gift. In worldview mode, the lens provides an AR unboxing experience that displays a recommendation.
    • AR-fueled shopping — and Snapchat’s lenses product, in particular — have become a feature of many 2022 holiday marketing campaigns.

    AR shopping, while not exactly new to mobile marketers, is seeing strong interest this holiday season, with New Balance’s activation just the latest example. Amazon Fashion is leveraging Snapchat’s Shopping Lenses to enable users to try on thousands of eyewear brands in its Fashion Store. Shoppable experiences on Snapchat are a key element of American Eagle’s holiday marketing strategy. Even Disney has partnered with Snapchat on a Lens that envelops users in a blue hue to ape the upcoming “Avatar: The Way of Water” film.  

    More than 100 million consumers worldwide are using AR while shopping online and in-store this year, according to Deloitte research cited by Snap. Additionally, a study from Publicis and Alter Agents (in partnership with Snap) found 80% of shoppers felt more confident about their purchases after incorporating AR into their journeys. Two-thirds of consumers who use AR are less likely to return their purchases, and the tactic has found strong favor with Gen Z. 

    “Consumers continue to shop online and more importantly, on their devices, so we know they are hungry for fun and useful touchpoints for holiday shopping,” said Sharon Silverstein, head of U.S. Verticals at Snap Inc., in a statement.

    The Gift Concierge feature will be live only in the United States on iOS and Android platforms and only available through Dec. 31.

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