QR Codes Turn Pretty Much Everything into a Storefront

10/04/2014 16:50

You can say everything bad you want about QR codes, but they remain a very useful tool. Apart from being able to give more information about your products and services, these little box codes can also help you sell.

This is because QR codes have the ability to turn anything into a storefront. AzonMobile has reported that supermarket chain Tesco used barcodes to put up virtual stores at Gatwick Airport so that travelers can do their groceries while waiting to board their flights and they can have these ready by the time they get home. The Tesco campaign is just one of the chain's many forays into virtual shopping. Tesco is credited for one of the biggest successes in virtual shopping using QR codes, having put up that virtual supermarket in a South Korean subway station.

One recent example comes from Alibaba.com. The company is using QR codes on their ads. These ads will run on different newspapers, magazines and even flyers and other marketing materials. The commerce Web site hopes that people would learn how to use QR codes and scan the QR codes that they have on their ads to buy something.

Alibaba using QR Codes for Mobile Shopping via Newspapers

The thing with QR codes is that they can be placed on just about anywhere. You can take out an ad in the newspaper and put a QR code there that would allow people to directly buy the product that you have advertised for. You can put it on magazine ads, helping you sell that product, or at least give readers more information.

QR codes are also great tools for upselling and for product recommendations. For example, if somebody buys flipflops from you, you can put a QR code there that sells beachwear, beach toys and even active wear. If you run a movie house, you can put QR codes on movie tickets so that they could scan it and have popcorn and soda delivered to them right at their seats before the movie starts. If you sell cars, you might want to put up a QR code that would help you sell upgrades, insurance and other car-related products.

So QR coded virtual stores are no longer just trying to attract random people to buy groceries from you anymore. You can tap into an audience that you know would be interested in other products you are selling.

In a competitive retail environment, the first thing you need is to give your customers a way to immediately act on their interest. If they find something they see, they should be able to get a way to learn more about that product. And if they are interested enough to buy it, they should be able to do so as well. The good news is that QR codes can help you with both.

Putting up a QR code will ensure that the sale is yours. There is no way that the customer would forget all about your product when they are at the store. Also, you get to lessen the chances that they will see your competitors’ products and have them decide to buy these rather than your product.

A QR code, then, is great in making sure that you get the sale at a time when your market is interested and you are at the top of their minds.