Start-up Snoopstar offers Aldi handbooks to talk to AR

Düsseldorf Every week, Aldi floods homes with sales brochures and spends millions on advertising. But the discount does not know if customers have read it and where they can get additional information about the products.

“So far, the retailer has had a problem: It printed a brochure that intrigued me, but once the customer was no longer in control,” Bodo Schaeffer says, describing the dilemma. The head of the startup Snoopstar wants to solve exactly this problem – and turn printed paper into a digital channel.

To do this, Snoopstar uses augmented reality, that is, displaying virtual content in the real world. When customers scan an Aldi brochure with their cell phone camera, videos start suddenly, recipes, product information or contests appear. A direct link to the web store is also possible.

The startup now has double awards for this: the startup has not only won discount prime minister Aldi Süd as a client for its augmented reality app. The two companies have now also won the German Gold Brand Award for their joint venture. Technology from Snoopstar “connects print and digital in a unique way,” the jury praised.

Today’s Top Jobs

Find the best jobs now and
You are notified by e-mail.

Augmented reality (AR) has always been considered a great technology that also offers many opportunities for businesses. An analysis by the consulting firm PwC estimates the economic potential of virtual and augmented reality in 2030 at $1.5 trillion worldwide. But really promising applications in retail are still scarce.

Creative AR ad formats: put a virtual armchair in the living room and test the makeup

Most apps include trying or trying products by default. For example, Ikea customers can use a mobile phone screen to place an armchair to match the size of their living room. At French cosmetics providers Sephora and L’Oréal, customers can virtually test out their hair dyes and makeup.

The Snapchat network is also the driving force behind this new technology. Here, users can beautify their selfies using Augmented Reality. In the long run, this should result in creative ad formats. But until now, augmented reality apps have been more of a gimmick than a real aid or sales channel for most providers.

It is therefore important for Snoopstar chief Schiefer that the technology is not used only as a ‘gimmick’. “Every use should create value for the customer,” he explains. And of course for the trader. “We can measure the success of the technology very accurately,” Schiefer promises. His startup has already won clients such as Henkel, Douglas, Pizza Hut, WMF and Deutsche Telekom.

For discount Aldi Süd, it is a particular challenge that he has a very wide and diverse customer base, but at the same time he also wants to target specific customer segments in a targeted way. “With our partner Snoopstar, we have been able to optimally serve this diversity and deliver real added value,” says Lars Klein, Managing Director at Aldi Süd.

Aldi’s director, Klein, is satisfied with the collaboration’s successes so far, but he still sees clear potential. “Our goal is to make our brochure more attractive, especially for the target group of young people,” he asserts. “We believe that the optimal combination of acquired print and modern digital offerings will be an essential aspect of future customer communication and we are driving the digital transformation accordingly.”

See also  E-Cab trains future grape pickers using virtual reality

Marketing control: digital media has gone beyond printed brochures

The further digital development of the print flyer, which is still widespread to this day, is an important topic for most retailers. EHI Retail Research Institute’s current marketing observer shows that more than 70 percent of retailers surveyed see the push for digital connectivity as a central task. For the first time, print brochures are only second to the marketing mix, with 34 percent of expenses actually flowing to digital media.

The startup Snoopstar is a division of the family business LSD Dusseldorf, which designs advertising and packaging materials for consumer goods manufacturers. “The advantage is that we, as a service provider to consumer goods companies, know exactly the customer’s problems and questions,” explains Klaus Finken, who runs the company with his brother Chris. This knowledge was incorporated into the development of Snowstar.

Read also: Augmented Reality: The challenging battle on the next platform

LSD has developed a central database in which all customer information and all its contents are available. Snoopstar’s AR apps are based on this. This is the “central success factor,” Finken asserts. Technologically, the company uses image recognition instead of QR codes that are still prevalent today.

So the possible uses go beyond Aldi sales brochures. For Henkel, for example, the company has developed a solution that links AR to hair dye packaging and thus provides detailed information about its correct use. “We are turning simple encapsulation into a multi-media information carrier,” says Chris Finken.

On the other hand, Douglas gave customers the opportunity to use Snoopstar to see what products could be found in advance on the Advent calendar — and whether the purchase was worthwhile for them. In another campaign, customers were able to scan a 50 euro banknote using the Snoopstar app and received special offers from Douglas on their mobile phones.

See also  Robot boats monitor water quality in Saxony's lakes

An election campaign with augmented reality?

The startup is supported by Stefan Herzberg, former president of Karstadt and CEO of General Electric in the USA. He is an investor and chairman of the supervisory board at Snoopstar and is convinced: “When it comes to technologies, sometimes it’s too early, sometimes too late. But with augmented reality we are now, the subject is thriving.”

“A lot of people say the prints are dead,” Herzberg said. “But with this technology we can give print media a new job, and there’s a real dialogue between manufacturers and customers.” He is experiencing – especially in the US – a strong interest in technology in many companies.

This was also felt by Snoopstar president Schiefer, who prior to joining the startup held management positions at advertising agencies Gray and WPP. “We will fivefold our sales this year,” he says and proudly points out that the company, which was only founded in 2019, is already making a profit.

The company has also designed posters showing people talking to the viewer via the mobile app. In theory, augmented reality could become especially striking in the upcoming federal election campaign.

More: Augmented reality turns your smartphone into a virtual changing room.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top