Home Articles How Australian SMEs can find and grab online opportunities during COVID-19

How Australian SMEs can find and grab online opportunities during COVID-19


As Australian businesses continue operations during these unprecedented times, we know many within the community are reaching out for guidance and support. 

Locally Snap Inc. (the parent company of messaging platform Snapchat) is working with Australia SMEs to help them pivot and look at new online audience opportunities.

In an exclusive written Q&A, Kathryn Carter, Snap’s General Manager for Australia and New Zealand shared with Anthill some insight and advice that could help local SMEs.

Below is the interview.

Q. Many Australian businesses are feeling the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you have any insights and/or advice during these unprecedented times?

It is an incredibly hard time for many Australian businesses, and we know local SMEs in particular are feeling the financial impact of the recent pandemic. 

As brick and mortar operations cease, the opportunity lies in e-commerce sales. Connecting to your audience online becomes even more important and we’re seeing many local businesses adapt their operations to focus-in on online customer sales. 

Consider how your audience needs have shifted with more time at home. It is important to demonstrate your brand’s value proposition such as seamless ordering and delivery directly from your app and website. It may be a tough pivot for many, but is certainly needed to help weather these unprecedented times.   

In addition to that, as the advertising landscape continues to evolve drastically during these troubling times, brands need to be hyper aware of what their target audience wants. Not only does their message need to be on point, but they should also make sure they are connecting with their audience in a meaningful way.

It is important to understand your audience’s new needs and adapt your messaging to them in a considerate way. Rather than using a global crisis as an opportunity to promote your brand, these ideas can help you craft thoughtful messages and create valuable experiences for Snapchatters. These best practices are true for any time, but should be particularly top of mind during uncertain times like this. 

As our community looks for guidance, perspective, and resources, brands can adjust their campaign messaging to support Snapchatters when they need it most. 

Q. What have you been doing to help retail and/or e-commerce businesses adapt during these trying times?

As COVID-19 affects the lives of millions around the world, people are using Snapchat to stay close to their friends, family, coworkers, and community. Snapchat brings close friends and family together even when they’re apart – and we are grateful for the opportunity to help people stay in touch during this time. 

For SMEs, our platform provides an opportunity to reach a highly engaged target audience online. But we understand businesses of all shapes and sizes need help and support. We recently launched a dedicated COVID-19: Business Resource Center. The intent of this page is to share resources to help our partners navigate this uncertain time in light of COVID-19.

We are committed to delivering meaningful business results at scale, and we have a platform that is able to support Australian SMEs as they scale their businesses globally and locally. Just as Snapchat brings people together, we are here to help our partners and entire community move forward, together. 

Q. Can you take us through any case studies of e-commerce businesses doing well right now? 

Princess Polly is an Australian owned online fashion boutique. Since its launch in 2010 the online store has grown rapidly and now services over 800,000 customers worldwide. We work with Princess Polly to help them reach an online shopping audience locally and globally via Snapchat. This is becoming all the more important during these trying times. 

The brand currently uses our Dynamic Ads offering to target Snapchatters based in the U.S. With Dynamic Ads, advertisers such as Princess Polly can easily input an existing ad creative into a Snapchat template. It means they don’t need to spend time and money producing specific ad creative for Snapchat – they can use what they have and our system optimises it for Snapchat in real time.

With Snap’s Dynamic Ads, Princess Polly saw early success with a 66% decrease in cost per purchase and a 171% increase in Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS), compared to a similar campaign simultaneously running in the U.S. on another platform.  

Q. Are there any other examples?

Tropeaka is another Australian owned online business selling a range of protein powders, superfoods and teas. The start-up launched in 2016 and quickly recognised that they needed to be strategic with their marketing spend.

After making the right decisions regarding the ad networks they chose to work with, particularly around using the Snap platform, Tropeaka has exponentially grown into an 8 figure a year business, recording sales of over $10,000,000 last financial year.

With a young target audience it made sense to leverage the Snapchat platform to reach this key demographic. Tropeaka used our self-service ad platform to manage its ad campaign as well as the creative assets that drive traffic back to the website.

This option gave the brand more freedom and flexibility to its digital advertising strategies. Ad placements such as “collections ads” have been extremely powerful to the brand where they have been able to showcase not only the brand in the ad itself but a range of products across it’s collection.

This placement along with Stories and Snap Ads have resulted in exceptional results particularly during sales periods where results as high as 5x ROAS have been seen.

We are excited to see local Australian brands tap into the buying power of Millennials and Gen Z at home and internationally with the help of Snapchat.

Q. What are the figures around this? I.e. the sales numbers before the Snapchat campaign vs sales numbers after. 

“We jumped on the opportunity to test Snap’s Dynamic Ads for our US based re-engagement efforts and have seen exciting early results! While we previously found success with Snap Ads, we loved the idea of combining personalised creative with promotional messaging to drive purchases. Upon launch Dynamic Ads drove a 66% decrease in Cost Per Purchase and a 171% increase in ROAS compared to similar product-focused campaigns running in the US.“  – Kim Zorn, Digital Manager for Princess Polly.

Q. What are some of the most recent updates that Snap has rolled out for advertisers?

Our latest updates have certainly allowed brands to be more creative in the way they want to reach out to their target audience. We increased the max duration of all Snap Ads to 180 seconds (3 minutes). For example, an entertainment studio could now run a full film trailer ad for viewers, rather than a partial trailer that prompts them to swipe up to view the full thing.

In addition to that, we have added the swipe-up capabilities for six-second Commercials. Previously, our six-second Commercials have been video-only, with no ability for viewers to interact or take action. We are now giving advertisers the ability to add swipe actions to their commercial campaigns (just like users can do with non-commercial ads). In the new format, any commercial campaign may now give users the ability to swipe-to a web view, long-form video, or camera attachment.

Finally, we are also giving advertisers new ways to bid on and distribute their video ads. Optimize ads to reach viewers who will watch 15-sec. Videos. Our new optimization type (called Goal-Based Bidding) lets advertisers optimize for 15-second video views. GBBs help ensure a specific level of ad engagement; optimising for 15-second views is a powerful way to increase brand engagement and recall among Snapchat’s audience.