- 7-Eleven is rolling out a nationwide tie-in with the movie "Deadpool 2," including limited-edition Slurpee cups, energy drinks, candy and food. The convenience chain's mobile app lets fans of the Marvel anti-hero unlock augmented reality (AR) experiences by using their smartphone cameras to scan special "zapcodes" throughout stores, according to a company press release.
- The chain will release a new in-store AR experience that brings Deadpool to life each week, sending customers on a hunt around participating stores unlocking virtual messages, doodles and bonus loyalty points. By scanning the 7-Eleven app at checkout, customers can enter a contest for a chance to win movie tickets and a trip to Las Vegas.
- Once the AR experiences are unlocked in stores, customers can access them later after they leave. 7‑Eleven urges fans to share their experience with photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #DPx7E. For the first time, 7-Eleven also will advertise in theaters in 13 U.S. markets.
While AR is often tapped for games and other playful interactions that combine the real and online worlds, it's use in stores has been more limited. But that is starting to change. Retailers like Zara are exploring AR's potential for in-store trial while 7-Eleven's in-store strategy is based around an app acts as a mobile hub for unlocking AR experiences in stores, collecting loyalty points and entering sweepstakes. "Deadpool" fans also can share their interactions with the Marvel character, boosting the promotional power of a single customer to a wider group of enthusiasts through social media.
The chain's latest promotion is designed to encourage loyalty program signups and repeat traffic to stores, as the AR experiences change each week ahead of the movie's May 18 premiere. 7-Eleven has grown its rewards program 33% to 12 million members since November 2017, when it expanded the range of products that were eligible to earn loyalty points. This isn't 7-Eleven's first foray into weaving rewards incentives and mobile tech into its marketing strategy in recent months. In November, the chain debuted a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, and one month later, it started testing mobile ordering though an app to let people request snacks, cosmetics, gift cards, home goods and beverages from a nearby store for delivery or in-store pickup. Most recently, the company ran a contest in March that gave members of its loyalty program a chance to win points by obtaining a bar code from the Messenger chatbot and scanning the 7-Eleven mobile app at stores' checkout counters.
7-Eleven last month was given a 73% rating on the best customer experiences provided by stores, in line with the 74% rating for broader retail industry, a study by the Temkin Group found. Ace Hardware (82% rating) and Dollar Tree (82%) provide the best customer experience in the retail industry, according to the survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. In these ratings, a score of 70% or above is considered "good," and a score of 80% or above is considered "excellent," pointing to 7-Eleven's solid public perception.