Snapchat board of directors member and editor in chief of Cosmopolitan Joanna Coles told the audience at Recode’s Code/Media event on Wednesday that the messaging app will soon be a retail one, too.
“Sweet is a channel on Snapchat that Hearst and Snapchat have done together, and the tagline is ‘Love something new every day,'” the exec said during an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher. “But at some point that will morph into an e-commerce platform so you will be able to buy from it.”
Shopping would be a curious addition to the ephemeral messaging app, which lets you send and receive photos that disappear immediately or after 24-hours, and view content from brands and publications in Discover.
Snapchat has tried to add money exchange in a number of different ways including paid filters for people who want to make their snaps even more ridiculous, and Snapcash, a way to send and receive money via the app.
But messaging is a quick, mindless task that requires only minimal effort. Shopping is a more thoughtful activity, and although flash sales might make sense through Snapchat, getting a large audience to not only trust their payment data to Snapchat, but also be willing to spend more time on the mobile app doing something other than talking to friends, might be difficult.
Shopping in on mobile is on the rise, however. Data from Comscore showed that during the holidays, 18 percent of total digital retail sales came from mobile, a significant jump from 13 percent in 2014. As more people shift spending to mobile, apps like Snapchat could convert users into buyers with the right shopping partnerships (and deals).
Coles didn’t give an exact timeline for when Sweet might pivot into retail, but the news confirmed a July report from Women’s Wear Daily that Snapchat and Hearst were working together on some type of e-commerce platform.