COVID-19 Drives PetSmart to Snapchat

Patrycja Malinowska
Director, Member Content, P2PI
Patrycja Malinowska profile picture

PetSmart recently dropped an augmented reality Snapchat lens spotlighting the Thrive private label for reptiles it rolled out last year.

The retailer’s first-ever Snapchat lens — and possibly the first-ever lens from any pet retailer — offers an interactive, educational experience highlighting the leopard gecko and culminates with a call to action. Consumers answer three true-or-false questions about the gecko, watching their own faces morph into the reptile with each correct answer. The lens then offers a prompt that Treats loyalty members can click through to receive a code redeemable for 40% off a live reptile with in-store purchase of a Thrive starter kit.

The gamified experience engages Snapchat users and their friends, driving them to stores with the discount offer. It is intended in part to substitute the retailer’s in-store “Reptile Roundup” educational series that has been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. The summertime effort typically offers shoppers the opportunity to hold reptiles and learn about pet care.

PetSmart said it has seen a 50% increase in reptile sales during the pandemic as house-bound consumers introduce pet reptiles into their homes, various pet-focused publications have reported.

The retailer’s Thrive brand spans all-inclusive essentials kits, habitats and decor, including terrariums, substrate, bedding, lighting and backgrounds to create environments mimicking desert, temperate and tropical climates.

Snapchat's website claims the mobile application has 238 million daily users (more than 100 million of those in the U.S. and Canada) who spend 30 minutes on Snapchat every day, on average, with over 75% of users engaging with augmented reality features daily.