Remember Snapchat’s Spectacle connected sunglasses? Well, the company is starting to sell them in a way that’s making people sit up and take notice.
Snapchat has opted to put up a pop-up store in New York, right in front of Apple’s flagship store. What makes Snapchat’s installation unique is that the store doesn’t have rows and rows of Spectacles for purchase by the public. The interior of the store is pretty sparse, and there’s not a single Spectacle to be found anywhere, just rotating LCD screens showing it in action.
The connected sunglasses are sold via a single quirky vending machine that allows users to try out a pair virtually and choose their color before dishing out the $130 (Php 6.4K) required for a pair.
This viral approach to selling their new glasses have people lining up in the New York location, with lines snaking around the block where the pop up store is located.
Snapchat’s viral approach to selling the glasses has largely paid off – the first few Snapbot vending machine locations, in Venice Beach California and in Big Sur, sold out completely. Fans who want to be the first to buy the glasses will have to visit the Snapbot store locator at the correct time to find out where the next store will show up.
Because of the high demand, the normally $130 spectacles are now going for as high as $5000 in eBay. That’s a testament to the high demand of the new glasses, even though there’s a high chance that the company will be selling them through traditional retail channels later on.
The importance of virality in marketing a product is probably one of the lessons the company learned from a similar product made by Google, dubbed Google Glass.
While the Google Glass was well ahead of its time, it’s steep price tag and tech enthusiast marketing (as well as slightly dorky looks) ensured it was a commercial flop.