- EBay hosted a mobile augmented reality sweepstakes just prior to the holidays called "Santa Sneaker Drop," which gave people the chance to win coveted pairs of shoes. The online marketplace partnered with NBA star Anthony Davis to promote the web-based game and give away 500 pairs of collectible sneakers, according to an announcement.
- EBay asked people to visit its eBaysantasneakerdrop.com website in a mobile browser to activate the AR experience. After entering their email address at the site, a virtual fireplace was displayed in their smartphone camera view. An unwrapped gift with the eBay logo would drop down the chimney and pop open to reveal a prize or a consolation message.
- To engage sneakerheads with a gamified AR experience during the holidays, eBay gave away 19 styles of collectible sneakers, including the Air Jordan 1 Travis Scott, the Nike Air Max 97 Sean Wotherspoon and the Jordan 1 Off-White Chicago. Mobile users had the opportunity to enter the sweepstakes — which ran Dec. 22 through Dec. 24 — up to five times a day.
EBay's "Santa Sneaker Drop" aimed to engage sneakerheads with a gamified AR experience during the climactic holiday shopping rush. The sweepstakes helped remind consumers that eBay was a pioneer in the market for secondhand sneakers as it continues to take on GOAT Group and StockX in the market for authenticated shoes. As evidence of the market's rapid expansion, StockX last month raised $275 million in a financing round that valued the startup at $2.8 billion, while GOAT in September raised $100 million at a $1.75 billion valuation, Front Office Sports reported. StockX has already expanded into other product categories like electronics, making it a more direct competitor to eBay.
EBay has seen strong revenue growth amid a broader boom in e-commerce during the pandemic, with homebound shoppers seeking products like secondhand sneakers that aren't available in stores. The company's revenue jumped 25% to $2.61 billion in the third quarter from a year earlier, while its profit nearly tripled to $621 million, per a quarterly report. CEO Jamie Iannone said the company had seen strong growth in the market for vintage watches and sneakers, Barron's reported.
The "Santa Sneaker Drop" positions eBay as one of the latest companies to harness AR technology to engage consumers with a branded experience. Gucci Beauty recently started an AR promotion for its Bloom perfume that allowed Snapchat users step into a virtual "garden of dreams." The gamified experience invited people to find virtual bottles of the perfume and visit luxury brand's website to make a direct purchase. Advertisers including Diageo, Dior, GameStop, HBO, L'Oréal and Verizon also have used AR technology in their recent campaigns to engage homebound consumers on mobile.