Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unveil Quick Response Codes Through Shoppers

QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response Code, those small, square, maze-like matrices designed for scanning by shoppers’ smartphones, tablet computers, and other portable electronic devices. The scan produces a link to an internet URL, so a retailer can use a QR to play an instructional video on the mobile device, show the retailer’s web page, place a voice call to a product expert, display the part of a social media site with product or store reviews, or any combination of those and more.
     Now, I’m thinking many RIMtailing readers will look at that last paragraph and say, “I knew all of that already.” However, a recent Los Angeles Times article suggests that many won’t. Until reading the paragraph, these retailing professionals weren’t sure what function was served by those strange-looking boxes they’ve spotted in the corners of advertisements and product displays.
     Loads of consumers are moving from the “What the devil is that?” to the “What fun that is!” category. The LA Times article reports how the number of monthly scans recorded by the industry’s leading code maker has mushroomed from 80,000 to 2009 to about one million in 2010, to about two million so far this year. However, the number of consumers using QRs is still small. About one out of 20 smartphone users has scanned a QR. It appears that once people use it, they love it, but it’s an innovation that is still taking hold among consumers.
     Social psychology research findings indicate that this dynamic gives you—the retailer—a wonderful opportunity to build good will toward your store: Coach your customers to teach their friends and family how to use QRs. On the bottom of instructional signs, such as Macy’s is installing in their stores, and on billing inserts explaining what the scan will produce, say something like, “Help a friend to use QRs.”
The reason? Having one customer teach a skill to others that involves using your store becomes a form of store recommendation. It is a “Welcome to the club.”
     Set up plans to use QR for profitability. Recognize that as the novelty wears off, you’ll need to keep the content engaging. But certainly don’t keep QRs on the QT.
     Oh, I guess I need another short paragraph to explain that one: QT was first used as an abbreviation for “quiet” in the late 1800s. “On the QT” came to mean “confidential.”

Click below for more:
Make Your Shoppers Feel Special
Offer Aspirational Shoppers Subtle Signals
Give a Vocabulary for Richer Shopping

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