Snap Inc. launches MENA region’s first-ever AR-powered virtual mall for Ramadan

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Snap Inc., parent company of social media platform Snapchat, has launched the Middle East and North Africa region’s first-ever Augmented Reality-powered virtual mall for the month of Ramadan, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday.

The AR-powered mall will feature some leading international brands such as Al Futtaim, IKEA, Namshi, L’Oreal, and Samsung.

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The immersive retail experience can be accessed through a Snapchat World Lens on the social media platform’s outward-facing camera, where shoppers will be able to browse virtual stores of participating brands which they can then purchase via the brand’s e-commerce website.

“Snapchatters in the region are seeking inspiration for their shopping experience this Ramadan. Today, shoppers want an experience that is more than just transactional. While they expect the convenience and efficiency of online shopping, they also want a true-to-life, in-store experience,” Head of United Arab Emirates at Snap Inc. Jake Thomas said in a statement on Tuesday.

“AR caters to this need when accessed through universally available and always-on mobile devices - a game-changer for both retailers and shoppers,” he added.

Peak retail periods such as Ramadan draw attention to the power of AR and its popularity with consumers while delivering on brand sales expectations, the Snap Inc. statement said. Last year, Ramadan campaigns for retailers running an AR Lens on Snapchat delivered a 4.3 times higher average purchase value compared to other formats.

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