Butterfly Hunt – AR app for shopping centre


Citycon owns, develops, and manages shopping centers and other retail properties in the Nordic-Baltic region. The company was looking for a new and fun way to delight its customers and encourage them to extend their stay in its Arabia shopping centre in Helsinki.

Gamified customer experience in augmented reality

Stereoscape created an AR app – a virtual butterfly hunt – that shoppers downloaded to their smartphones. The app showed a real-time view of the shopping centre, enhanced with virtual butterflies with the help of AR technology. Shoppers could ‘catch’ the butterflies by tapping their phone’s screen when a butterfly was within reach. A progress bar kept track of the number of butterflies caught to allow customers to win prizes or receive promotions as they played. The solution also enabled collection of some shopper data.

The pilot project was implemented together with Citycon and its marketing partner that was in charge of promoting the experience. To trigger the location-based AR experience, Stereoscape designed and installed a Bluetooth beacon network in the shopping centre.

Shopper engagement – client benefits

The gamified customer experience engaged shoppers in digital interaction, with potential to increase the time they spent in the shopping centre, entice them to visit the space more frequently and attract them also to the less-visited areas of the centre. Brand-specific messages, promotions, rewards etc. can also be added to such an experience. The application also produced insights into customer behavior during the pilot that took place fall 2015.

The power of gamified AR in engaging users was on full display in 2016 – a year after the Citycon pilot – with Pokémon GO that stormed the world with a similar experience.

Watch video of shoppers’ reactions (in Finnish)

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