The Ultimate Guide to Driving More Sales with Snapchat (for e-commerce stores)

Admit it.

You’ve heard all about Snapchat, but you’re skeptical of how useful it is for eCommerce marketing.

You know what?

I don’t blame you.

Snapchat is still a fairly new social media platform, and it’s not quite as straightforward as using Twitter or Facebook for marketing.

But you should not let that stop you from using it.


Because Snapchat can absolutely help you build a stronger eCommerce brand and engage with your target customers in a way that makes them want to buy from you.

Just take a look at this data:

While using Snapchat for marketing might be a fairly new concept, it’s definitely one worth immersing yourself in.

That especially applies if your target audience includes millennials.

Check this out:

Demographics of snapchat - young audience


But even if you’re marketing to an audience that doesn’t include millennials, you need to take Snapchat seriously.

Over 50% of new Snapchat users are over the age of 25, and the percentage growth of those age 35 and over is actually greater than the penetration rate for 18- to 24-year-olds.

Snapchat’s users are super engaged too.

In fact, 54% of all users check the app every day, and research shows that Snapchat has recently been named Americans’ second favorite social network (after Facebook).

Chart showing usage of social media - increase of snapchat users in 2016

Ready to learn how you can use Snapchat for eCommerce marketing yet?

Before we dive too deep into marketing tactics, let’s go over the basics of using Snapchat. That way, you can get your account set up and gain a better understanding of how Snapchat works.

How to Market Your eCommerce Business on Snapchat

Pick a relevant username and promote it.

When you use Snapchat, people can’t discover your account organically (by searching for hashtags, for example).

That means it’s your job to get your account in front of your target audience and entice them to follow you.

Sure – you could just share your username. But a better approach is to share your Snapchat profile URL.

When a customer clicks this URL on mobile, they’ll see a preview of your profile and an “Add” button, which makes it quick and easy for them to connect with you.

Here’s how clothing retailer Everlane advertises their Snapchat account in the footer section of their mobile website:

how everlane advertises in Snapchat

When you click the little ghost icon on mobile, your Snapchat app opens, and you see this:

how everlane advertises in Snapchat

Cool, right?

If you have a Snapchat account, you can start using your profile URL right away. It’ll be in this format (where you replace “YOURUSERNAME” with your actual username):

Don’t limit yourself to just sharing the URL on your website, though. You can also share it with your customers by:

  • Sending an email to your subscribers

  • Adding your custom URL to your social media profile

  • Creating social media posts that include your custom URL

Want another great way to spread the word about your Snapchat presence?

Download and share your Snapcode, which is a scannable code that can contain a branded image (you can learn more about Snapcodes on the Snapchat website!).

Here’s an example of a branded Snapcode:

Branded snapcode - the next web example


And if you’re really serious about building a Snapchat following, you might even want to set your Snapchat QR code as your profile picture on all of your social media sites. That way, it’ll be nearly impossible for your social media following to miss!

Consistently share content your audience will love

Make no mistake – Snapchat isn’t the place for bland, corporate-y content.

It’s the place to engage with your following in a fun, casual way that humanizes your brand.

Here are a several ideas for content you can share on Snapchat:

Discount codes

Who doesn’t love a good deal on their favorite products?

I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled when I see my favorite brands share discounts on Snapchat.

Not only that – I keep following them on Snapchat because I don’t want to miss a single discount code!

Your customers think the same way, so consider sharing discount codes to help build brand loyalty and keep them engaged.

Here are a few examples of how you could share discount codes on Snapchat:

examples of discounts shared in snapchat


If you’re going to use this strategy on Snapchat, make sure you let the
people who follow you on other channels know that you’re sharing
exclusive discount codes on Snapchat. It’s a great way to incentivize
them to follow you.


If you’re looking to drive traffic to your site, you could simply share your website URL in your Snapchat story and encourage followers to check it out.

But you can also share a link to an email list sign-up page, a product page, or something else.

Think about your eCommerce business goals, and make a decision about which link to share based on that.

Here’s an example of how KIND shared a link along with a discount code in their Snapchat story:

shared link along with a discount code


Make sure your link is short so your customers can quickly type it and check out your content. If you’ve got a lengthy link, use Bitly or a similar service to shorten it.

You may also want to prepare customers to screenshot your link one screen in advance.

For example, you could create a Snap for your story that says “Screenshot the next snap to save the discount code and get 15% off!" Then, the following Snap would show the link/code.

Product sneak peeks

Releasing an exciting new product soon?

If so, take a Snap of your new product (or a Snap of someone using the product), and share it with your following.

Here’s how Kylie Jenner, reality TV star and owner of Kylie Cosmetics, recently teased her new eyeshadow line on Snapchat:

how to use snapchat to release a new product

You might even want to add text to the picture/video to let your followers know when the product will be available. That way, you can really build hype around the launch date!

Behind-the-scenes footage

Save the professional-looking photos for your website product pages.

When you use Snapchat for marketing, it’s best to share photos/videos that give your following a real, behind-the-scenes look at what your company culture is like.

Here’s how Forever 21 used this strategy by sharing a behind-the-scenes look at a photoshoot:

using snapchat to share behind the scenes footage


You could share anything from behind-the-scenes event footage to an exclusive look at how your products are made. Get creative, and think about what your audience would be most interested in seeing!

Influencer takeovers

You’ve heard of Instagram influencer marketing, but did you know you can use a similar strategy on Snapchat?

To do it, start by finding an influencer with a target audience similar to yours. They could be a social media star, blogger, or even a celebrity.

Then, collaborate with the influencer to determine what kind of content they’re going to share during the takeover.

Make sure you set proper expectations – your influencer should promote the fact that they’re going to take over your Snapchat account and encourage their audience to follow you. Also, figure out details like the time/date of the takeover so everything goes smoothly.

Once you’ve done that, give the influencer access to your Snapchat account, and watch the campaign unfold.

You should see a surge in followers if the influencer has let their own following know about the takeover!

You may also want to document the campaign by screenshotting and/or downloading all of the pictures/videos. If you choose to do this, make sure you do it within 24 hours so the content doesn’t get deleted before you can save it.

One more thing:

Don’t be afraid to get creative and use the custom drawing tools, emoji stickers, and lenses when you post to Snapchat. Keep your content fun and lighthearted, and there’s a good chance your following will come back for more!

Get a sponsored Snapchat lens

If you’re not too familiar with Snapchat, you may be wondering:

What are Snapchat lenses?

Simply put, they’re filters you can put on your photos/videos. Here are a few examples:

snapchat lens

As you can see, these encourage users to edit their Snaps in a fun way before sharing.

If you want to create a Snapchat lens for your brand, it’ll cost you. But since the average Snapchatter plays with a sponsored lens for 20 seconds, you can feel pretty confident knowing the lens will help with engagement and brand recognition.

Here’s an example of makeup brand Urban Decay’s sponsored lens:

Sponsored lens

You can see that they were trying to spread the word about a new lipstick line here. So, their sponsored lens added lip color to the user – that’s what made the most sense for their overall marketing goals.

If you decide to buy a sponsored lens, make sure your lens helps you reach your marketing goals too.

Whatever you do, make sure you consider your audience when you design your lens. You need to give them a lens they’ll be excited to try – that way, lots of them will use it and you’ll get the best possible return on your investment!

Tip: If you want to learn more about lenses and see one in action, check out this page on the Snapchat Support

If you want to advertise in a mobile video ad, Snapchat is a great way to do it.

These ads appear in the context of other Snaps. Rather than telling the user to click a link like many traditional ads do, your Snapchat ad will tell the user to swipe up if they want to see more.

When a user swipes up, they get to see even more of your content. And that content can be anything from your mobile site to a long-form video or article – it’s up to you!

Snapchat data shows that the swipe-up rate for Snap Ads is 5x higher than the average click-through rate on comparable platforms.

That’s a pretty big difference.

Take a look at this screenshot of a Snapchat ad by Starz, a premium cable network:

Screenshot Starz snapchat leading to install the app

See that little “Install Now” and arrow at the bottom of the screen?

When the user swipes up, they’re taken directly to the app store.

Screenshot app store - download app Starz

As you can see, they’re able to install Starz on their phone right away.

If you choose to create an ad for your brand, take a lesson from the example above and send users to a page where they can take action the second they swipe up.

For example, if your ad promotes a product line, you may want users to be taken straight to a product page when they swipe up.

Bottom line:

Make it easy for users to do what you want them to do, and you’ll have a much better chance at impressive ad conversion rates.

Over to you

Using the strategies in this post, you should be able to start making a name for your eCommerce brand on Snapchat.

During that process, make sure you’re tracking your Snapchat marketing performance. For example, you can track story completions, screenshots, and unique views to determine what kind of content resonates the best with your audience.

Sure, it’ll take you some time to measure these metrics. But it’s totally worth gaining the ability to improve your Snapchat marketing strategy as you learn and grow!