Le speaker de Snapchat lors de l'atelier de la marque au One to One Monaco
Expérience Client

Visual communication: focus on its impact in e-commerce

Published on by Sabine Roy - updated on

The purpose of this one-to-one conference is to expose the different challenges of retail in the era of visual communication. It took twenty years to e-commerce to have an impact on stores, and a decade to mobile to do the same.

We moved from the store to the computer, then from the computer to the phone, reducing the space for visual expression and communication for brands. The next step is undoubtedly the return to the immersive advertising experience. The conference presents the opportunities offered to retailers by an application such as Snapchat.

What is the weight of visual communication in e-commerce?

Focus on the different challenges of retail regarding visual communication

The mobile age is part of retailers' need for omnichannel, but that doesn‘t mean that mobile is the channel where conversions take place. On the other hand, it‘s a major asset, because it‘s on this type of device that the main point of contact is made. Two-thirds of conversions are impacted by digital touchpoints, more than half of which are mobile.

It acts as a link between the digital and the physical world. Millennials watch their phone at least 150 times a day. This is an opportunity for marketers, but a complex opportunity because the data is unclear and it is difficult to use to make the messages more accurate.

From 2012, visual communication has become paramount. The camera now allows you to discover, learn things and increase reality in the immediate environment. Snapchat has chosen to use it to meet the challenges of retail. These challenges are the fragmentation of the audience, the possibility offered by mobile to become the first means of visual communication, geolocation, and the camera as a new media for brands via augmented reality.

Audience fragmentation

In France, Snapchat has 22 million users every month and 16 million per day, not counting cross-border users.

It is positioned as the fourth platform on the French market, ahead of Instagram and behind YouTube, and relies mainly on visual communication. This isn‘t an application used only by teenagers, as 86% of the audience is over 18, and the audience is centered on the Millennials (18-34 years old). In addition, 20% are over 35 years old.

In addition, marketers have the opportunity to target a single audience on this application. On a given day, 86% of the matchmakers can‘t be affected by a marketing campaign on Twitter, 53% don‘t go on Facebookand 38% can‘t be touched on Instagram. The appetite of buyers for shopping is particularly high, and is expressed through an important visual communication.

Mobile as a new showcase of commerce

The application was born on mobile. As a result, everything created for it, is mobile-oriented, and the advertising experience is adapted to full screen, with its default. All advertisements can be avoided. The whole user experience is thought for this type of device.

It‘s therefore possible to target users precisely, through customer lists, by looking for prospects "look alike" of the best customers, or by observing the age, sex and interests.


Users have the choice to communicate or not their geolocation to the application. They usually do this according to a simple criterion, in other words if it gives value to their visual communication. More than 85% of the audience communicates permanently where it is, including through filters and snapmap.

The frequency of use is also very important. Snapchaters open the app about 20 times a day, so you know where they are precisely at any time of the day. This is particularly favorable ground for "drive to store" because retailers can use several options:

  • Import store lists and define catchment areas within a specific radius in order to address an advertising message only to those areas.
  • Place a point anywhere in the world and choose to only advertise at that location.
  • Create categories such as airports, beaches or restaurants so that only those users can be targeted.

The weight of the camera and augmented reality

Augmented reality will allow real-life advertising experiences, and the mobile will be the link between all these experiences. About 70% of Snapchat users use augmented reality at least once a month. This is probably the platform that uses this technology the most.

Retail has interesting opportunities with augmented reality and visual communication, which is why the application has created a software called Lens Studio. Completely free, it‘s presented as the Photoshop of augmented reality by proposing customizable templates which is possible to change colors, forms and logos.

Feedback e-commerce with Birchbox

Birchboxis a pure player in the field of beauty, who has been working with Snapchat for two years. The brand offers a personalized monthly box with more than 200,000 active subscribers in France. It has also set up an e-commerce site on which it offers a selection of products large enough to meet all the cosmetic and beauty needs of women in its target group (between 25 and 35 years old).

His marketing goals were to find new growth drivers beyond Facebook and Instagram. It presents itself as an opportunity to reach a new and younger audience, a fan of visual communication, and to offer a different brand experience.

For Amandine Perot, Birchbox "sought both a lever that [...] allowed branding and also performance, and the results proved that these objectives could be achieved." Indeed, the brand has seen a good conversion rate for a cost of acquisition divided by two compared to other platforms.


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