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The mobile application, Snapchat, began as a way to connect with friends and family members by providing the ability to send pictures and videos instantly. The kicker — these pictures and videos are only able to be viewed for a certain amount of time, only a few seconds or so.

As of June 2014, Snapchat was the third most popular social application among Millennials.

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With this rise in popularity, especially among Millennials, retailers and other marketers have a chance to make strong connections with audiences via this emerging media trend.

Retailers have been dealing with a business killer known as showrooming, which is when a consumer enters a store finds an item he or she loves but finds the item online at a cheaper price. One way to battle this is through the use of Snapchat.

According to Advertising Age, retailers do not have to spend copious amounts of money for the exclusive ads on the social application. Retailers can exploit Snapchat’s unique features to reach their target audiences, encourage in-store sales and increase consumer engagement. The publication suggested the following solutions to reduce showrooming

1. In-store only coupons with a surprise offer.

2. Scavenger hunt, Snapchat style – Send a snap of landmarks around the store’s location and the hidden product. This will be a great way to engage consumers

3. Bluetooth plus Snapchat – Use the application in conjunction with Beacons and Bluetooth Low Energy

4. Build anticipation for new items – Develop and disseminate Snapchat stories while putting out new merchandise

5. Phone a friend – Have consumers show off their new items by sending snaps to their friends. If they receive a snap back, they could win a coupon and a coupon for their friends.

These ideas would be great, simple and inexpensive methods for small businesses to use this emerging media. It may be more conducive in a fashion retail store, but other  types of stores could think of interesting ways to utilize Snapchat. Currently, my mother’s small business, Dowler’s Tractor Sales, is building a brand new building in a new location. I manage majority of the social media for the brand, and with each stage of the process, we have tried to use Snapchat to show the progress.