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Canadian Tire Enhances their 200-Hundred Page Catalog with Augmented Reality

It is no doubt that printed media, such as newspapers and magazines, are taking a backseat to digital media. Even books are being bought online than at an brick-and-mortar bookstore. This brings up a great benefit that augmented reality can provide for this diminishing media. Companies are turning to AR apps, such as Layar, to enhance printed media. One such company is Canadian Tire.

Canadian Tire was founded by brothers Alfred J. and John W. Billes in 1922. It is one of the largest North American retailers located in Canada.  If you’re living in Canada, you’re probably a fifteen minute drive from one. They provide a plethora of products, which range from home & kitchen to automotive and outdoors.

To compliment their retail experience, they’ve created the “Wow Guide.” This printed media is basically a store in a book. People can check out the latest products for their homes and outdoor uses. Since the age of the internet, which prompt people to visit online versions of brick-and-mortar stores, Canadian Tire created a digital version of their catalog.

Through their website, they of course provide the latest products in-store and can point you to one of their nearest stores for pickup. Similar to how other brick-and-mortar established stores do. As well as view their catalog.

The reason I bring up Canadian Tire, is not because of their impressive history or the major selection of products they offer, but how they are now trying to appeal to the young generations. Specifically the generation who do most of their daily activities, such as socializing, buying and researching online.

They understand that printed media has a large outreach, in terms of the amount of people who receive their 200-page catalog versus people stumbling upon their site online. But they also understand that this printed media does not provide the interactive and in-depth experience that the internet does.

In order to mediate this problem, they’ve enhanced their printed catalogs with augmented reality. Through their downloadable app, you can point your camera at an image in the catalog and it will bring up a full description, links and other related content.

As the years progress, the core customer-base for Canadian Tires will shift from traditional consumption of media to digital consumption of media. Meaning “their core target audience probably won’t be pulling their phones out to scan over the pages in this catalogue, but their future audience will, and that’s what’s important,” as stated by the CEO of Customer Lab, Jim Danahy.

Nationalpost.com has considered Canadian Tire’s  “Wow Guide” catalogue to “be the biggest leap yet by a large legacy retailer aiming to meld traditional store shopping with its emerging online business.” Now digitally-inclined people will have a reason to open up a 200-page catalog, because it will perform the same interactive functions that they are used to on the web.

This is just one company who is understanding and leveraging the benefits of augmented reality to appeal to a audience of the future. As I’ve stated before, as more and more people adapt to online connectivity, it will be important for businesses to come up with innovative marketing techniques to appeal to the audience of the future, to maintain a successful business in the future. If you’re in Canada, go ahead and download their app and check out their online digital catalog.

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