News: Lego Partner Kabooki Builds Virtual Pop-Up Shop with Snapchat's Shoppable AR

Lego Partner Kabooki Builds Virtual Pop-Up Shop with Snapchat's Shoppable AR

Now that Lego Movie 2, a film about an imaginary world made of plastic bricks existing parallel to the real world, is in theaters, it's the perfect time to shop for Lego apparel at a store modeled after that world.

As luck would have it, longtime official Lego licensee Kabooki has done just that, creating a virtual pop-up store via Snapchat and its Shoppable AR platform to sell its Lego Wear collection for adults.

And the apparel company truly takes the term Shoppable AR to heart. Upon scanning the Snapcode, the AR Lens ushers users into a virtual store populated with Lego figures, with shelves built with bricks holding digital apparel and the transparent windows of the shop providing a view of the real world outside. Those interested in making a purchase can click the "shop now" button to access the online store.

Unfortunately, while US shoppers can enter the virtual store, they cannot actually purchase the real apparel from the online store, as the merchandise is limited to shoppers based in the UK, France, and Germany.

"We loved the idea of experimenting with a new and innovative digital customer experience together with the Lego team," said Birgitte Holgaard Langer, chief operating officer and chief marketing officer at Kabooki, in a statement. "Approaching the adult fashion audience with this limited-edition clothing line through an AR experience is something we have never done before. We are very excited to see how this new audience will respond to the launch and the AR experience."

In addition, the retailer actually opened a brick-and-mortar retail space in London for the promotion. However, customers who darkened the door of The Missing Piece last week couldn't actually walk out with any merchandise, as the shelves of the store were bare. Instead, the store existed merely as a staging area for the virtual pop-up store, with the requisite Snapcode on display for visitors to enter the AR store.

The Lego brand is ideal for such a retail experiment. In recent months, the toy maker has fully embraced augmented reality, evidenced by its status as a guinea pig for both ARKit and ARCore. In fact, just days after the virtual Kabooki shop opened last week, Lego unveiled Hidden Side, the latest line of its playsets to integrate AR experiences.

"We're an innovative, playful brand at heart and part of that is exploring new digital channels and technologies," said Lea Sandell, social media innovation lead at the Lego Group. "This was an unique opportunity to collaborate with Kabooki on their brand new limited edition product for adults and tap into both the sense of style and the nostalgia of that audience — while exploring that interesting space where the digital and physical worlds merge."

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

Snapchat's Shoppable AR has proven to be a popular platform for retailers, with Levi's and New Balance among the brands taking advantage of the e-commerce tool.

But Kabooki has raised the AR marketing bar by putting an online store inside a virtual store inside a physical retail space.

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Cover image via Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

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