- Luxury fashion brand Kate Spade New York has launched an augmented reality (AR) mobile application to generate buzz around the opening of its first brick-and-mortar store in Paris, according to a press release made available to Mobile Marketer.
- The app, called My Little Paris Tapage, guides users through the French city via "Joy Walks," where they can see real Parisian locations overlaid with virtual surprises, including flamingos in the Seine River or iconic yellow cabs in the street. Three fashion and lifestyle influencers — Adenorah, Natacha Birds and Anna Dawson — partnered with Kate Spade to highlight 10 "secret" Parisian locations in the app's interactive map.
- As users explore Paris with the influencers as virtual guides, they can share their "Joy Walks" on social media via the hashtag #KateSpadeJoy. The luxury retailer worked with brandtech group You & Mr Jones, influencer marketing firm theAmplify and AR company Zappar to develop the app.
Kate Spade isn't the first fashion or beauty retailer to roll out an AR-based app, as brands like L'Oréal and Estee Lauder launched virtual makeup tools earlier this summer. Kate Spade's effort, however, takes the technology a step further into the real world in guiding users through a fairly comprehensive tour of Paris, which provides a more immersive lifestyle experience that also ties in popular marketing tactics like influencers and social sharing. On top of potentially drawing people to its first Paris brick-and-mortar location, the My Little Paris Tapage app might extend Kate Spade's organic reach as excited participants share the #KateSpadeJoy hashtag and their virtually-enhanced sight-seeing on social channels.
The fashion house has a history of leveraging emerging tech to engage consumers and provide more seamless shopping experiences, especially as mobile continues to grow as a key channel for retail marketing. It's dabbled in a number of bleeding edge spaces of late, including shoppable Instagram ads, shoppable videos and pins on Pinterest, as well as handbags integrated with iPhone charging ports and shoppable scaffolding outside stores under construction. AR integrations like the Joy Walks align with the company’s playful nature and eye toward mobile innovation, the release said.
One challenge for marketers wanting to add AR to their marketing mix is finding ways to add real value to consumers and link the experience to the brand in a way that will generate buzz and drive sales. In Kate Spade's case, the company bridges the gap between in-store and online experiences, as the final location on the map is the new boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré, where people can browse and get a free set of branded pins.
Leveraging smartphones to drive foot traffic to brick and mortars will only become more essential as the retail landscape continues to be disrupted by e-commerce websites like Amazon. It's logical that fashion brands — particularly high-end ones like Kate Spade — are beefing up their mobile presence to attract tech-savvy and often younger consumers.