They went as fast as they came. It seems as though QR codes were popular for a week before they went back into hiding. Yet, as a valuable business tool, that is also environmentally friendly, it’s surprising that more companies haven’t become involved. While there are negative variables to consider – customers’ lack of scanner apps being the main issue – consumers still want to interact through their smart phones. QR codes are a great way to do that, and you’ll see why you can be successful.
Where You Should Use Them
Quick response codes, otherwise known as QR codes, are just that- quick. In an ever moving, fast paced world, it’s important that your customer can get the information on the run. Not only that, but they want to get it on their phone. The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users found that, “79% of smart phone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer.”
So, how can you use QR codes to take advantage of this?
- Print ads: This is a great chance to get customers purchasing while out and about. If they see something they like in the newspaper, they are more likely to scan a code to purchase it, rather than search it out later.
- Pamphlets: This is an excellent way to be environmentally friendly, and make the lives of your consumer less cluttered. At Tradeshows, for example, be one less burden for someone carrying around a thousand handouts and get them connected to your site right away.
- Links: Send them to a popular blog post, the like button for your Facebook, or a video. Customer engagement is paramount.
- Packaging: Offer on the spot discounts, tips, etc.
Companies That Would Benefit
While every business can find a way to successfully utilize QR codes, there are a few that have the most to gain. These companies can use codes to truly enhance their service and business.
- Realtors: Instead of having a book of papers hanging off the “For Sale” sign, simply place a code instead. Its weather proof and anyone walking by can quickly scan it.
- Restaurants: Customers can scan for a special discount while waiting in the lobby; free drinks, half off appetizer. Give them something to do that they can benefit from.
- Food companies: With so much talk about nutrition, industrial food processing, and the like, food companies can use these codes very successfully. Use them to link to nutritional information, local farmer websites, or recipes.
How You Can Benefit
QR codes allow you to interact with a customer when you would otherwise not have the chance. Using a code instead of paperwork allows them to have direct contact with you, immediately. There’s no waiting period to look at a product or excuse to throw your pamphlet out. Take advantage of the Instead of forcing QR codes into your marketing campaigns, use them where they have already been proven to be useful for other people.
Who Has Been Successful
There are many companies who see the benefit in using QR codes and have been successful in doing so.
- United Airlines is using QR codes for boarding passes.
- Starbucks recently used QR codes to vote for favorite coffee flavors and get a $1 off coupon. However, they are currently testing their pay by QR code at 16 stores in Silicon Valley.
- Macys used QR codes last year to send customers to a YouTube video where celebrities such as Tommy Hilfiger and Jessica Simpson gave tips and advice.
There are many free QR code generators at your fingertips. While many of them are similar, these two have some additional options worth looking into.
- QRStuff.com: Here you have the option to print or email your code after creating it. You can also link to Zazzle where you can put on a t-shirt.
- icandy.ricohinnovations.com: Here you can track which codes are being scanned, and access other analytics.
While QR codes aren’t the social media darling they were last year, companies who can innovate in their use, including your own, have much to gain. Giving your customers an easy way to interact with your brand on their cell phone is going to be an interaction you wouldn’t have otherwise made. Your customers want to be engaged with you, and QR codes are a great way to do that.