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Walmart embraces augmented reality to enhance in-store shopping

Walmart continues to show its commitment to augmented reality as a way to enhance the in-store shopping experience with the  release of a new augmented reality application.

The app is available exclusively at Walmart Canada between Sept. 20 and 27 and is part of Nickelodeon’s marketing strategy for a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series. The app enables users to get an augmented reality experience by interacting with special in-store signage located throughout Walmart stores, online and in the retailer’s weekly flyer.

“Users can interact with signage that is placed throughout the store transforming a regular shopping trip into an adventure,” said Jeff Tate, category marketing manager at Walmart Canada, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

“Walmart is a destination for innovation and this is another way we can interact with our customers and make their shopping experience more enjoyable,” he said.

“We want our customers to have fun with this app and enjoy playing with the treasure hunt aspect of finding the signage in-store during their weekly shopping trip. The game portion is exciting so we expect a lot of replay after customers leave the store.”

Interactive store signage
Walmart previously launched augmented reality apps in the United States earlier this year as part of its in-store marketing activities for the films The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man.

In the latest example, in-store shoppers can look for Ninja Turtles signs in the toy, apparel and entertainment departments to download the app.

The first screen on the app is the Ninja Turtles map that lets users know what they need to do with all the components of the app.  From the main menu, users can choose the “Train Like A Ninja” mode, which takes them into the sewers where they select the Ninja Turtle they want to play with.

Users can train that Ninja Turtle by finding the key signage in stores and holding up their mobile device to view that signage within the app.

A 3D version of the Ninja Turtle will pop out of the signage.

Users can also play a game with their turtle, with the turtle performing his new moves to help score points in a pizza-themed game.

For the “Meet Ninja” mode, users must find the key piece of Turtles signage on a pallet in the store to view a life-size 3D Turtle on their device, which they can take a picture with, save and share.

Augmenting sales
The launch of the app coincides with the introduction of a new line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles licensed merchandise, including boys’ apparel and footwear. The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series debuts in Canada on Sept. 29.

The Turtles app, which is available in English and French versions, is the first augmented reality app from Nickelodeon.

Walmart Canada is also launching the Marvel’s Superhero Augmented Reality Avenger app, which was introduced at Walmart stores in the United States earlier this year (see story).

Using the Superhero app, Walmart shoppers in Canada will be able to discover what Avenger they are most like.

The apps are available for Android, iPhone and iPad and are free to download.

“This is a great opportunity to bring our legacy fans from 1984 together with our new fans with a retailer that speaks to both demographics,” said Tanya Visano, senior director of Nickelodeon Consumer Products Canada, Toronto, Canada. “Coupled with the cross-category breadth of products, this is a great tactic to activate our property at shelf while driving our customers to multiple categories as they unlock key components critical to the game play.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York