How does one shop at an invisible store? Step one is finding said store. Once you've done so, the process of selecting merchandise and making payments is similar to how you'd make any ordinary online purchase.
GoldRun, a mobile augmented reality app, is working to change the way consumers interact with brands. The company partnered with Young & Rubicam to create an invisible pop-up store to sell limited-edition Airwalk sneakers.
Airwalk relaunched its Jim shoe (not to be confused with gym shoe) and wanted to reach its target audience by erecting a store where Jim shoes are typically worn: in parks and beaches.
Not everyone visiting Venice Beach in Los Angeles or Washington Square Park in New York City on Nov. 6 were privy to the pop-up stores, because they were invisible to the naked eye.
Fans of Airwalk were well aware of the impending invisible pop-up stores through blog postings on SneakerFreaker, KicksonFire and Hypebeast, among others, and an email blast to Airwalk's customer database.
Consumers interested in buying Airwalks' Ladies Jim Plastic or Men's Jim Tennis shoes had to download GoldRun's free app, show up at Venice Beach or Washington Square Park and take pictures of the virtual sneakers found at each locale. In others words, you couldn't phone this one in; consumers had to be present to take pictures with their GPS-enabled smartphones that confirmed their whereabouts. Only then would consumers receive a link to purchase one of the 300 limited edition pairs of sneakers.
The GoldRun app is compatible with iPhone 3G or higher. "We loved the notion of selling the shoe where it's most relevant to the brand and their consumers," said Menno Kluin, creative director at Young & Rubicam. "It's the perfect idea to relaunch the shoe in a new way that still reinforces the brand heritage."No paid media promoted the invisible pop-up stores, which took a few months of preparation to create. "The actual placing of the shoe in the location and creating the run on Goldrun was relatively easy and quick," said Kluin. "The biggest challenge was to find a partner that had the technical capability to bring our idea to life."