Sticking with retail technology, (and UK-based innovation) this week we were interested to hear about shoe retailer Schuh’s plan to lure shoppers into stores with a location-based real world mobile phone game that they have created in partnership with Google – following in the steps of Tesco who are also using Google technology to stimulate sales, as we reported last week.
Schuh’s game bridges the gap between virtual reality and real world experience as players interact with in-store ‘portals’ located throughout the UK and Ireland.
Head of e-commerce and customer service at Schuh, Sean McKee, describes the motivation behind the idea:
“We were early advocates of the profound changes mobile technology has driven in our interaction with consumers. With half of our web traffic coming from smartphones, we are excited to embark on the next iteration of that journey by working with Google’s Niantic Labs to have consumers engage with our brand and retail stores like never before through the Ingress mobile experience.”
Ingress was created by Google’s Niantic Labs, and uses Google Maps technology to enable players to experience the world around them whilst discovering hidden portals, as John Hanke, vice president of Niantic Labs explains:
“Ingress was built on the idea of creating an interactive mobile experience that gets people out of their homes and engaging with the world around them in new ways. Partnering with Schuh to integrate their retail stores into the Ingress game and story adds a new layer of interactivity to the shopping experience where they might even find a new pair of shoes for their adventures.”
As always we’ll be looking to see if this idea takes off and whether other retailers will be using playful interaction to motivate sales – I guess in this instance it depends on how much you enjoy shopping for shoes and how whether or not you need an extra level of excitement added to the experience!