While gathering restrictions are still in place for most people, COVID can’t stop Christmas, and augmented reality is here to help save it.
‘Tis the Season, Remember?
For most people, shopping is a central part of the holiday season. Sometimes it can feel like a chore and that’s more likely than ever to be the case now that most stores can seem quiet and even isolated.
Mindful and considerate store staff are looking beyond sales to help to make the shopping experience as pleasant as possible for their customers this holiday season. Westfield shopping centers are a prime example of a retailer going above and beyond to achieve this goal.
“While this season may look a bit different, we still wanted to create experiences that not only make it fun and festive to shop, but keep health and safety top of mind,” Anthony Sion, New Business Development Senior Vice President at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (owner of Westfield shopping centers in the US), said in a release shared with ARPost.
In order to do this, Sion teamed up with the minds at COFFEE Labs, high-tech marketing strategists that have worked with everyone from Microsoft and Medtronic to Ketel One and Adidas.
“Brands are looking for ways to connect with consumers and we spend every waking moment in creating unique experiences that do exactly that for our top clients,” said COFFEE Labs CCO Al Silvestri. “We are excited to partner with Westfield to help drive shoppers to their centers for a fun, interactive augmented reality experience with special offers during this holiday season.”
COFFEE labs created the experience, the Holiday Hunt, which is made available through 8th Wall’s hardware agnostic and easy to use WebAR infrastructure.
“Now more than ever, it’s important to provide engaging experiences to customers that keep them safe while transforming ordinary physical locations into something magical and extraordinary,” said 8th Wall Founder and CEO Erik Murphy-Chutorian.
Experiencing the Magic With WebAR
From now until December 24, eagle-eyed shoppers at participating Westfield shopping centers will find QR codes hidden throughout the store. Pointing a compatible mobile device’s camera at the QR code will activate a WebAR experience, from dancing characters, to face filters, and more.
Each interaction can be shared on social media all with no app required – the beauty of WebAR. There are ten of these hidden gems in each participating store. Finding just one can be fun but finding all ten unlocks exclusive in-store promotions.
“The Holiday Hunt was developed to entertain as well as deliver offers from our retail partners over the holidays in a safe and socially-distant environment,” said Sion. Because the QR works through a mobile device, during this scavenger hunt, shoppers don’t need to handle items or even interact with employees in order to experience the fun or reep the rewards.
Coming to a Store Near You?
Make no mistake, the Holiday Hunt is a record setter. It’s the first (known) WebAR scavenger hunt to take place at a mall chain. Further, while we don’t have participation numbers yet the number of shoppers that will potentially interact with the experience is stunning.
That having been said, WebAR in retail has been a long time coming. If you can’t experience the Holiday Hunt in a location near you this holiday season, it likely won’t be long before a fun and immersive experience comes your way.
The experience is available at the following Westfield locations:
- Annapolis (Annapolis, MD);
- Brandon (Brandon, FL);
- Century City (Los Angeles, CA);
- Culver City (Culver City, CA);
- Fashion Square (Sherman Oaks, CA); A;
- Galleria at Roseville (Roseville, CA);
- Garden State Plaza (Paramus, NJ);
- Mission Valley (San Diego, CA);
- Montgomery (Bethesda, MD);
- North County (Escondido, CA);
- Oakridge (San Jose, CA);
- Old Orchard (Skokie, IL);
- Plaza Bonita (National City, CA);
- San Francisco Centre (San Francisco, CA);
- Santa Anita (Arcadia, CA);
- Southcenter (Seattle, WA);
- Topanga & The Village (Canoga Park, CA);
- UTC (San Diego, CA);
- Valencia Town Center (Valencia, CA);
- Valley Fair (Santa Clara, CA);
- Westfield World Trade Center (New York, NY).