Despite the somewhat sad misuse of, and shallow understanding of QR codes historically in retail and mobile advertising, recent advances in technology have warranted lifting up the hood again to see “what’s up what’s new” and that a paradigm shift has truly occurring.
Variability, serialization and “instantaneous scan” capable mobile apps and powerful mobile devices have been enablers for these scannable codes to truly muscle up and become an effective conduit of package-driven supply chain traceability, instantly changeable/adaptable mobile integrated shopper engagement campaigns, as well as new tools to make the in-store shopping experience faster and more informative and convenient! …..as long as you learn and download the new tech. and leverage it right.
And we’re not just staying that because our own PACKPrint solution is fundamentally enabled by QRs (as well as other similar coding options, including our emerging DIGIMARC enabled invisible coding scannable technology). We’re saying it because this tried-and-true platform of package-driven engagement (and originally honed and refined in the Magazine/Catalog Commercial Printing vertical sector) has now afforded a rapidly growing number of companies to begin to see higher rates of success driving web traffic and sales, increasing their email lists and engagement rates, and simply making life easier for consumers with strategic use of the codes.
The Right Use
Making the most out of variable QR codes first involves making sure your business and products are the right fit for, and most likely to gain practical benefit from the technology. The most vibrant audience for this technology is males aged 25 to 44, but that doesn’t mean all females or men in other age groups are automatically going to ignore them.
Business2Community suggests ensuring your audience is aware of the steps they need to take before they can access the growing array of powerful QR channeled information. The first action involves simply downloading a code scanning enabled retailer app or simply a mobile app like INIGMA that can instantaneously scan the code using a mobile device.
The second step is to take a cue from other companies that have successfully used the QR code enabling tool to their advantage. Consumers are looking for value, which can include but doesn’t necessarily have to entail a discount coupon. These examples, outlined by Xerox, show you what value can mean:
- Walmart places a QR code on receipts that direct customers to its Saving Catcher app, promoting savings for future purchases. (Scannable code-driven Applepay competitor WalmartPay is soon to follow)
- Bar Keeper’s Friend cleaning solution places a simple static QR code on top of the product, directing customers to how-to videos and comparisons to other cleaning products
- McDonald’s has a simple static QR code on its take-out bags, sending customers to a straightforward nutrition menu they can store on their mobile devices for future reference
Innovative Applications Stimulate Growing Use
The opportunities to make the most of scannable QR technology are clearly there, with 56 percent of people across the world owning a smartphone as of 2013. And many of those opportunities are already being realized, according to info reported by Xerox and Scanbuy’s latest trend report:
- 30 to 40 percent: Smartphone users who scanned a QR code in the past six to 12 months – sometimes right in the store as they’re comparing products
- 83 percent: Scans generated by QR codes and Mircosoft Tags (compared to 17 percent of scans generated by UPC)
- 23 million: Number of mobile engagements in Q3 2015
- 5: Average mobile engagement per user in Q3 2015 (an all-time high)
One more significant nod in the direction of scannable code-based value is Walmart’s new mobile payment option, Walmart Pay. The option uses powerful variable scannable codes to complete transactions between the smartphone and in-store registers. The retail giant is fighting back against Apple Pay – and the core strategy behind it is the thriving QR tech.
Check out more info on what QR codes can do for you and your customers!