As a result of the ongoing digital revolution, emerging technologies such as augmented reality have presented the retail industry with new ways to enhance the way they engage with their customers.
“Augmented reality has become a disruptor in the retail industry, allowing retailers to connect with their customers like they have never before,” says Lané Mong, Advertising Manager at Ackermans.
It is with this in mind that value retailer Ackermans, in collaboration with Disney, has launched its first augmented reality app in celebration of one of the year’s most anticipated films – Disney’s ‘The Lion King’, in cinemas nationwide from 19 July.
“As the one-stop ‘Character’ shopping destination, we continuously strive to offer customers fresh and innovative ways to experience the product line in our store. We wanted to engage in a way that would help bring the classic animation characters Simba and his friends to life for customers, as we understand that the bond kids create with characters extends beyond the screen,” says Lané Mong, Advertising Manager at Ackermans. How does it work?
Users can download the free Ackermans Live app via the iOS app Store or Android Google Play Store. Once the app is opened, users simply point their phone at the selected merchandise from the Lion King character range, and the image on the t-shirt will trigger the characters to come to life on the screen of the phone.
“As with any of our other Character product offerings, we strive to offer unmatched assortment as well as incredible value on the most current Character executions, says Mong.
“The Lion King capsule offers customers a wider range of choice, as we have put a fresh spin on traditional artworks and exploded the offer across the various age categories within the product range,” she adds.
Users can also see Simba and his friends come alive in the store.
“There will be stickers around the store and when users place their smartphone or tablet above the image, they will see the Disney Characters come alive in 3D magic,” says Mong. Fun on Facebook
In addition, the retailer offers fun new Facebook photo filters, where customers can add filters to their photos to transform into one of three main Lion King characters.
“Our aim is to bring an exciting new experience to customers, through blending the online and offline worlds by leveraging technology trends.”
However, while it is great to leverage exciting new technology, Mong cautions that retailers do their homework first before ‘hopping on’ a global trend.
“It is important to understand how to apply a local lens to activations so that they successfully resonate with consumers, rather than just employing new technology for the sake of early adoption.”
Mong believes that retailers also need to examine how the technology will enhance customers’ shopping experience and bring value to their lives. “It should always be customer experience first, and channel second.”
The Lion King range will be available in Ackermans stores nationwide from 25 July. The app and Facebook filters will be available for download and use from 8 July 2019.