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One-night window wonder

A display linked to an augmented reality app enabled online retailer Net-a-Porter to hit the high street.

Annual shopping event Vogue’s Fashion Night Out involved a number of promotions on the high street, including luxury fashion etailer Net-A-Porter’s Window Shop.

Two Window Shops were opened, for one night only, from 6pm until 11pm in Mount Street, London, and on Mercer Street, New York. As the name suggests, the shops were displays rather than stores. Consumers were invited to download Net-a-Porter’s mobile app and take part in the interactive experience.

With the app, customers could hold their mobile phone up to the window on a particular product, which then appeared on the phone to either buy or win as a prize. The technology was created by augmented reality platform company Aurasma and works by recognising objects and images in the real world. Net-a-Porter then delivered the items to customers the next day.

The campaign was deemed a success by Net-a-Porter, which reported nearly 3,000 downloads of the app in London and New York. The etailer is to use the technology on several new initiatives. It is currently available on its autumn 11 print campaigns in countries including the US and Hong Kong. The print campaign works in the same way, allowing customers to download the app; by holding their phone up to the ad they are taken to video content of interviews with the models.

Net-a-Porter’s campaign shows how online retailers can reach the high street. By launching on Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, it made the most of the higher footfall in London and New York and gave a new experience via mobile.

The campaign also enabled collection of data from potential customers by encouraging them to download the app. With many retailers now looking at how to engage customers via mobile, with a number looking a QR codes, Net-a-Porter has demonstrated how augmented reality could be the answer. 

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