- GOAT, a secondary marketplace for authenticated shoes, is giving its more than 20 million app users a chance to virtually wear the world's rarest and most coveted sneakers, per an announcement shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer. The company added a "Try-On" feature to its app that shows an augmented reality image of the shoes when customers point their smartphones at their feet.
- Nike's Air Jordan, Air Force 1 and Dunk brands are included in the selection of virtual shoes. The selection includes unreleased samples such as the Air Jordan 4 Purple Travis Scott, Air Jordan 3 Fragment, Air Jordan 4 Undefeated and Air Yeezy 1 Glow in the Dark Tour. The Air Force 1 selection features the Stash, Black Album, Head Automatica and Stash x Futura styles, while the Dunk lineup has the Deftones, FLOM, Wu-Tang and Iron Maiden.
- GOAT lets users place bids on shoes from sellers, and collects a commission on the transaction. The company independently certifies that shoes are genuine before shipping them to buyers.
GOAT's AR try-on's give users a small taste of what it's like to wear the world's rarest sneakers, many of which do not come cheap. For example, the Air Jordan 4 Undefeated is available for $23,000 new, or $19,000 used, although bidders are welcome to offer a lower price. While it's probably safe to say that most of GOAT's users aren't going to shell out five-figure sums for rare sneakers, the AR try-on is a way to engage customers with its online marketplace, and possibly lead to sales of other, more obtainable shoe styles.
The digital try-ons of rare shoes is GOAT's latest use of AR technology to inform and amuse shoppers of its digital marketplace. Last year, GOAT added an AR experience to its annual Black Friday raffle. The company gave away more than 1,000 prizes including a $10,000 grand prize in credit toward future shoe purchases. The campaign aimed to drive foot traffic to participating brick-and-mortar locations like Flight Club, the shoe retailer that merged with GOAT earlier in the year.
GOAT is among the shoe-related brands that made AR try-ons a key part of their marketing efforts to reach mobile consumers, especially younger audiences that favor smartphones for media consumption. Sportswear brand Puma last month made AR experiences a central feature of the grand opening of its first North American flagship store in New York. Puma's mobile web app let customers scan QR codes on signs and shoe tags to see branded content featuring Puma's feline mascot. Gucci in June added AR to its iOS app, letting shoppers virtually try on its line of Ace sneakers. Similarly, Nike's app lets shoppers scan their feet with a smartphone camera to get customized shoe-size recommendations.
While GOAT might serve a niche market, it does have significant backing. Foot Locker this year invested $100 million in GOAT, an affirmation of the startup's effort to create a central marketplace for sneakerheads.