Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel isn't one to typically tease future products, but he did hint that Snapchat has bigger ambitions for e-commerce during a talk at a conference on Monday.
Snapchat ($SNAP) has "pretty cool products coming on the e-commerce side that we’re excited about," Spiegel said onstage at Morgan Stanley's Tech, Media, and Telecom industry conference in San Francisco.
One year ago, Snapchat opened its own in-app store where users can buy physical products, like Snapchat and Bitmoji-branded t-shirts, coffee mugs, and plushies. But Spiegel hinted on Monday that Snapchat's virtual store could be a prelude to something bigger.
“I think we’ll be able to take a lot of learnings from our e-commerce store and maybe apply them more broadly to the product," he said.
Snap has a history of experimenting with new features on its own before opening them up to outside users. For example, Snap ran its own company-themed TV show during the early days of its Discover media platform. Now dozens of media companies around the world publish content to Discover every day. Snap also made the first agumented reality lenses for its app, like the iconic puppy dog filter, before allowing brands and outside developers to make their own lenses.
In the e-commerce space, Snap has already experimented with a few brands to help people buy products like limited-editon Nike ($NKE) sneakers. Snapchat stores a user's credit card information once they make a purchase in the app, which makes it easier for that user to buy something again later.
A bigger push into e-commerce could potentially dovetail nicely with Snap's growing popularity among direct response advertisers. These advertisers usually buy digital ads with the goal of driving an immediate response from the viewer, whether it be downloading an app or making a purchase.
Aside from e-commerce, Spiegel revealed that Snapchat's long-awaited Android redesign will be released by the end of 2019 — the first firm committment he's made publicly to any timeline for the release. Snap has already started testing the new app, which is supposed to be faster and easier to use, with a small percentage of users, per Spiegel.
Investors are banking on the new and improved Android version of Snapchat to help revive user growth, particiularly in markets outside the U.S. where Snapchat has ceded ground to competitors like WhatsApp.