Big retailers get on board with interactive catalogues

An AR Barbie leaping out of a Toy Mania catalogue. Source: Snap.

Large retailers are beginning to look to social media to modernise their traditionally print-focused catalogues, in response to shifting consumer behaviours.

Discount department store Big W has partnered with Snapchat to modernise its latest toy catalogue – adding an AR component to an otherwise old-school method of advertising.

Similarly, Ikea recently revealed a shoppable version of its catalogue via Pinterest – allowing aspirational customers to bring together the look they want, and easily purchase what they need.

“We know our audience are using it, plus it’s a great co-viewing that encourages playful interaction between parents and kids,” a Big W spokesperson told Inside Retail

“For this campaign, we were able to bring mums and kids together by bringing nostalgic fashion icon, Barbie, to life during her 60th anniversary year.” 

Big W and Snap worked together on last year’s Toy Mania catalogue, with Big W finding the social platform a “creative” way to connect with its audience.

Each copy of the Toy Mania catalogue features a ‘snapcode’ on the bottom right – a type of QR code specific to the Snapchat platform – which can be scanned in the messaging app, and which will start an AR loop of Barbie leaping off the catalogue cover to pose and dance.

The technology, known as ‘marker tech’, has been used by many big-name international brands, such as Twentieth Century Fox and Papa John’s, to create a more immersive and personal advertising experience for interested customers.

“The tools we have on Snapchat provide brands, such as Big W, an avenue to creatively connect with their target audience, adding an element of play within their overall advertising experience,” Snap Australia’s general manager Kathryn Carter said. 

“With marker tech being made available to advertisers, we hope that this will inspire consumers to experience brands [and] products in a whole new way.”

Ikea’s partnership with social scrapbooking tool Pinterest was initially conceived as a way to revitalise promotions that were beginning to feel “a little stale”.

While the furniture company already has a digital version of its catalogue, it wanted to make a more interactive version which could reflect the changing behaviours of its consumers.

“[Catalogues] have been a pretty big part of the Ikea concept from the very beginning,” Ikea media project manager Kerri Longarzo told Digiday.

“As we get to 2019 and realise customer behaviours are shifting, the world is going more digital, having this print-only piece was becoming more challenging.”

On Ikea Australia’s Pinterest page, you can find boards ranging from bedroom ideas, recipes, and home inspiration – which, when clicked, will take users to the relevant product page on the online store, allowing for further shopping or purchases.

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