Hot this holiday season: A virtual pop-up
Scan a toy's QR code and it will be shipped to your door
December 7, 2012
Pop-up stores are nothing new in alternative media advertising. They’ve been popping up in high-traffic locations during the holidays for years.
But here’s a new twist on that old idea: A virtual pop-up store.
The store is located in Toronto’s PATH, an underground walkway that commuters rush through each morning and night on their way to work.
And it’s not actually a store. Two walls have been covered with images of toys, making them look like aisles in an actual store, but there is no entrance, no cash register, and perhaps most notably, no long lines to buy something.
Next to each image of a toy is a QR code that passersby can scan in order to buy the item on display.
The virtual shop is a collaboration between Mattel and Walmart Canada that launched last month. Brandfire Marketing Group and IMA Outdoor coordinated the stunt and set it up.
Mattel and Walmart were looking for a way to build buzz. The idea came from a desire to update the definition of “window shopping” for the mobile age.
Both stores were eager to connect with potential mobile customers because mobile shopping is expected to be so big this year, with purchases made on cell phones more than doubling compared to last year’s holiday season.
Four out of five smartphone owners, or 85.9 million, accessed retail-related content on their smartphones in July, according to comScore.
Combining the idea of the pop-up store with the convenience of mobile shopping became the inspiration for the virtual pop up.
There are more than a dozen items on display. Customers get free shipping on the items that they purchase at the virtual pop-up.
The virtual storefront is not an entirely new idea. Tesco tested a virtual storefront in a subway station in Korea, where customers could scan items during their commute that would be delivered to their homes. Peapod has done the same in the United States.
But the virtual pop-up aimed at holiday shoppers is new, and it’s a safe bet this idea will be utilized again.
The campaign works because it meets a consumer need, easy access to holiday shopping, and pushes people into making a sale.
It’s a lot easier to scan a QR code and get the Barbie you saw advertised on television last night during your morning commute than it is to trudge out to the store and pick it up.
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