QR codes are popping up everywhere, especially in retail. You see them everywhere, those silly looking squares with all kinds of dots.
They are a specialized version of a bar code, designed to be scanned by a mobile phone’s camera and provide information about products or services. The QR code can hold all kinds of data, from a url to a website about the product, to v-cards for contacts, text, pictures or other information, as well as to provide discounts, free stuff and coupons.
Businesses use them to do things like tracking shipments to providing consumers with instant information about products. Retailers have seriously jumped on the bandwagon and use them, it seems, everywhere.
QR codes are used by retailers in stores, on shelf tags and in advertisements too. Retailers can put a code in their store flyer to provide more information about sales and limitations, further descriptions and so forth. This saves the retailer money in the size of their brochures or flyers and still gives consumers the information they need to make a good buying decision.
Other retailers like Best Buy have added them to their shelf tags. Doing this allowed them to add additional information about the product without making the tags bigger. Best Buy included links to get detailed information about the product, read reviews from other customers or share the information with others on social media or email to get more input. For an overview of the Best Buy QR Code rollout, we love this post by RetailGeek which includes photos and a play by play of their implementation!
Macys is anther big retailer that jumped on early. They use them throughout the store to point out sales, and provide customers with fun contests and extras. Grocers use them in place of paper coupons. Now there’a a time saver! None of this would be possible without the QR code.
Smaller retailers can take advantage of them as well. What brought this back to our attention (we had heard about lower adoption rates and poor performance was a report by Scanlife, showing that the Mobile barcode (or QR Code) scans by consumers were up 157% in Q1 2012 over Q1 2011.
That is a significant increase in the adoption and use of QR codes by retail and something that we DEFINITELY want to keep in our radar!
For more information about the growth of QR codes in retail, visit Marketing Charts.
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