ecommerce, ecommerce ads

How To Use Snapchat Ads For eCommerce – A Step by Step Process

Snapchat is a relatively new social media platform unique in terms of functionality and content and not as straightforward as Facebook or Instagram. It can feel daunting to get started and set up your Snapchat eCommerce marketing strategy, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from using it.

Which social media channels have you been using for your eCommerce ads. We bet you settled for Facebook, Instagram, and perhaps Pinterest. But, you’ve definitely heard of Snapchat, and you most likely don’t know how to use Snapchat Ads for your eCommerce business.


The same as most online businesses!

We don’t blame you.

Snapchat is a relatively new social media platform unique in terms of functionality and content and not as straightforward as Facebook or Instagram. It can feel daunting to get started and set up your Snapchat eCommerce marketing strategy, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from using it.


Just look at these data:

  • Snapchat has over 229 million daily users.
  • The daily average number of Snaps is 3 billion.
  • 71% of users are under the age of 25 years, while over 50% of new Snapchat users are over the age of 25.
  • 58% of students who use Snapchat say they will buy a product if they receive a social network coupon.
  • There are more users on Snapchat than Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
  • An average user visits the app 18 times daily. 

If you weren’t already sold by the statistics alone, let’s go over the basics on how to sell products on Snapchat, and dive deeper into the advertising options available. At the end of this guide, you’ll be fully equipped with everything you need to create an awesome marketing strategy to sell your products on Snapchat.

Why do brands excel when using Snapchat ads for eCommerce marketing? 

Less Competition, More opportunity

Almost all businesses have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, and probably a Pinterest one. On the contrary, most eCommerce businesses haven’t established a presence on Snapchat yet. It is much easier to find a place and solidify your brand on this social network. 

Stand out and show the fun side of your brand

Snapchat was designed to be casual and fun. Snapchat is a more authentic, more natural, and more spontaneous platform. Using Snapchat makes it possible to show another side of your eCommerce business and express your brand personality in a new way to build a closer and a warmer relationship with the users.

Reach the younger audience

Since the majority of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18-34, they will most likely see your business videos there rather than your TV ad. Besides, as we mentioned earlier, you have the opportunity to show a fun side of your business, which is a great way to promote and gain a loyal following.

But, what about the cons of using Snapchat for eCommerce?

Time constraints

You can only post a 10-second video, so you will have to post multiple videos if your content is longer. But, with too many videos, you may lose your audience’s attention and become annoying. 

Re-sharing isn’t allowed

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat does not offer a re-share option. The only way you can re-share content is by taking a screenshot and uploading it to other platforms.

Pinterest guidefor beginners

What type of content can you use on Snapchat?

Snapchat offers a whole bunch of features to create different types of content:

  • Images and Videos. Snapchat allows you to share portrait format images either after being taken and edited on the app or loaded from your library. You can also share videos shorter than 10 seconds, and these too can be edited like pictures.
  • Snaps. Snaps can be either images or videos. They are sent to specific recipients in a private setting. The snap disappears right after being seen by its recipients.

Snapchat Snaps example

  • Stories. Stories are images or videos that a user can share with all of their followers/public. 

How to use Snapchat Ads for eCommerce?

To use Snapchat effectively for eCommerce marketing, you will need to create a Snapchat business account. It allows you to access more features that will support your marketing strategy, like:

  •  Advertising on Snapchat through its Ads Manager
  •  Age targeting 
  •  Geographical targeting 

Let’s walk you through the steps to create a Snapchat business account.

  1. Download the application: Find the free application in the App Store (for iOS devices) or the Google Play Store (for Android devices).
  2. Create an account: Enter all relevant information, including phone number and date of birth, and select a name that reflects your brand.
  3. Create a business account: Go to the Ads Manager and log in with the same username and password you set up for your regular Snapchat account. You will then be directed to a page to enter your company’s legal name, choose your country and currency. That’s it!

How to advertise your eCommerce products on Snapchat

  1. Go to Snap Ads Manager
  2. Choose the ad format you’d like to create
  3. Set the goal of your ad 
  4. Add the URL to where you want to drive traffic. 
  5. Choose a headline and Call-to-Action
  6. Choose your targeting: 
  • Interests and behaviours
  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Custom audiences
  • Lookalikes (based on your best-performing audiences)

Types of Snapchat campaign goals

When it comes to advertising, Snapchat offers different goals depending on what you like to achieve:  

  • General brand awareness
  • App installs
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Drive traffic to your app
  • Engagement with your ads
  • Video views
  • Lead generation
  • Website conversions
  • Catalog sales

What Makes Snapchat Ads Different?

60% of Snap Ads are watched with audio on

While Facebook users react negatively to auto-play videos with loud music, Snapchat users seem to welcome that. However, when you use sound on Snapchats Ads, don’t just add them to grab people’s attention; make sure they’re integral to the ad. 

Snapchat Ads are Skippable

Snapchat’s ad success relies on the ad placement as well as the entertainment factor. Users can scroll right down the feed if they don’t like what they see. However, ads on Snapchat are skippable to provide a better user experience and avoid businesses from being associated with a forced intention. 

Snapchat Ads are actionable

Ads on Snapchat, unlike traditional ones, are very tailored to the context of the content. The creative tools available like Geofilters make it a great way for brands that choose to invest in those ads. 

Types of Snapchat ad formats

In order to achieve the above marketing and advertising goals, Snapchat offers six different formats to create your ad. 

Snap Ads

This is the most basic format offered by Snapchat. They can be videos, photos, gifs, etc. Regardless of the format, these are full-screen and designed to be full of sound, sight, and motion. Snap ads are displayed between different Snapchat content types and allow users to take immediate action, such as swiping up to a URL or installing an app. 

Snapchat Ads For eCommerce

Remember that if you add an attachment, Snapchat will add a call to action, so avoid placing anything important in that area.

Technical specifications

  • Width: 1080 pixels
  • Height: 1920 pixels
  • Proportions: 9:16
  • Format: .MP4, .MOV, H.264 encoded
  • Audio: 2 channels only, PCM or AAC codec, 192 kbps minimum, 16 or 24 bit only, 48 kHz sampling rate
  • Duration: 3 seconds to 3 minutes (but 3-5 seconds is the sweet spot if you’re looking to drive action)
  • File size: 32 MB or less

Story Ads

They are a collection of Snap Ads perfect when you need more than three to five seconds to say what you want to say!

Snapchat Ads For eCommerce

Story ads are displayed in the “Discover” feed, with a cover photo and a headline. When a user taps your tile, a collection of ads open, similar to personal Snapchat stories; this means you are reaching a highly-qualified segment of your audience, driving CPAs at a fraction of the cost.

For Story ads guidelines, click here.


Filters are another great way to advertise on Snapchat. Those who are targeted to geographic locations are referred to as Geofilters. This is an exciting option to introduce your brand in the millions of snaps that users will send to each other daily. Quaker Oats developed a filter for College & Young Working Women, Female Fitness Buffs, Convenience Seekers, and Working Moms and drove 11.4 million impressions. 

Snapchat Ads For eCommerce

When creating Snapchat filters, always keep the user in mind. Create a filter that represents your brand without being too brandy that nobody uses it. 

Snapchat recommends designs not to take up more than 25% of the user’s screen to maintain a positive user experience. 

Businesses can create their own geofilters for as little as $5. They are ideal for businesses that are location-specific as costs can significantly rise as you increase the radius. 

Technical specifications

  • Width: 1080 pixels
  • Height: 1920 pixels
  • Format: PNG resource with transparent background
  • File size: 250 KB or less


When you think of Snapchat, the first thing that might probably pop in your mind is those puppy ears, flower crown selfies, long rainbow tongues, or giant tacos by Taco Bell. Those are lenses!

Snapchat Ads For eCommerce

Technical specifications

  • High resolution, transparent background: PNG of the logo
  • High Resolution, Layered: PNG file for any static image the brand wants to appear in the lens
  • For 2D lenses: High resolution. PSD file of any specific 2D model that will be added to the face or lens frame
  • For 3D lenses: 3D Max or Maya files of 3D models that will be added to the face/head/frame in the lens
  • Audio: .MP3 or .WAV files

In addition to “Face Lenses,” Snapchat also offers “World Lenses,” which uses the front camera to dd objects that seem like they are in your physical space. 

The possibilities are just endless with these ads. This lens from Bareburger lets potential customers imagine their meal from all angles.

Snapchat lenses example

You can find the guidelines on AR lens ads here.

Product Ads

These are ideal for shining light on your products. Upload your catalog and create “shoppable” ads, a.k.a Product ads.

Users can click on the item they like and buy it straight away, which shows how Snapchat has become a channel that can drive full-funnel growth from awareness down to conversions and profit.

Dynamic Ads

These are a very recent addition that rolled out mid-October 2019 and only available in certain countries. Dynamic ads bring automated personalization to Snapchat advertising offering new ways to scale and drive performance. Syncing a product catalog with dynamic ads allows Snapchat to be automatically updated about changes to products like price and availability so you can run ‘always-on’ campaigns.

Swarovski and Ivory Ella had early success on their dynamic ads over the holiday season.

Snapchat Pixel Tracking

Just like Facebook Pixel for advertisers, Snapchat Pixel provides marketers with a code to place it on their website so they can track signups, product sales, and all traffic that convert on Snap Ads.

3 Snapchat eCommerce marketing examples to inspire you

#1 Paul Valentine

Paul Valentine created a short yet appealing content to increase their brand awareness on Valentine’s Day and saw a 50% lower CPM compared to other channels.


GOAT aimed at boosting their conversion through Snapchat Ads that lead users to the App Store to download the app and purchase a sneaker. 

Their campaign resulted in a 26% lower Cost Per Acquisition and 2.5x ROAS.

#3 Sephora

In the beauty industry, Sephora took a unique approach with gamified AR experience using a new Lens. Users were given a coupon after they completed the game to use it right away on their website. This has helped them boost their engagement and sales. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==


There are a lot of great potentials for eCommerce brands to sell products on Snapchat. But, if you feel that your target audience is not using this platform, or simply it’s not your cup of tea, then you don’t necessarily need to join. 

Key points to remember:

  • Snapchat is powerful if you are targeting a younger audience.
  • Take your time to understand the channel before setting up your strategy.
  • Take advantage of shoppable ads to showcase your products and increase sales.
  • Don’t be hesitant to experiment with new interactive and engaging content.

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