The 22-billion-dollar retail market has constantly been evolving to meet consumers’ expectations. The coronavirus pandemic was one of the biggest events for the retail industry, resulting in a permanent paradigm shift in consumer behaviors.
QR codes have played a significant role in reshaping the retail sector over the past few years. They’ve enabled retail brands to connect with their consumers instantly and make marketing campaigns more engaging and immersive.
Let’s see how QR codes are shaping retail marketing and how you leverage them for your brand.
Table of Contents
- QR codes in retail: What’s the deal?
- How QR codes made their way into the retail sector?
- Why use QR codes in retail marketing?
- Top applications of QR codes in retail marketing
- Final thoughts
QR codes in retail: What’s the deal?
Retail is fast-paced. Shoppers will probably see your product on a shelf in a large retail store like Walmart, competing with dozens of other products. Customers take only 3 to 5 seconds to notice a product on a shelf among hundreds of products.
How would you make sure a shopper picks your product over others?
There are various strategies to do that, one of which is excellent and interconnected product packaging. With QR codes, you can make your packaging appealing and actionable, resulting in higher customer engagement.
Now, customer engagement doesn’t stop at convincing a shopper to buy a product. You must engage them continuously to cultivate customer loyalty. This can be done by printing QR codes on your product packaging to send consumers to various online destinations, like a website and social media.
And customer engagement in retail is not limited to product packaging. Retail brands can put QR codes across their stores and traditional advertisements to engage consumers.
How QR codes made their way into the retail sector?
QR codes are not new. You may already know that QR codes have existed for decades and were initially invented for inventory tracking in the automotive sector.
But over the years, they’ve found numerous applications like information sharing, Augmented Reality (AR), gamification, loyalty programs, restaurant ordering, and so on.
But QR codes found their much-needed break during the pandemic. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world in late 2019, contactless became the norm. People wanted to avoid touching surfaces at all costs, especially public surfaces.
That’s when QR codes came into the picture, allowing brands to engage with an offline audience without any physical contact.
Not only did QR codes eliminate physical contact, but they also bridge the gap between online and offline channels. Brands can connect with an offline audience and bring them to online channels. This seamless offline-to-online onboarding enables you to engage consumers repeatedly and increase customer loyalty.
Why use QR codes in retail marketing?
QR codes may not be revolutionary, but they’ve revolutionized retail marketing for sure. Here’s why QR codes should be a part of every retail brand’s marketing strategy.
- Easy to Use: QR codes are easy to create and manage. Any brand can use QR codes without any technical expertise and know-how. Simultaneously, your consumers can easily scan the QR code from any smartphone and connect with your brand.
- Cost-Effective: QR codes are affordable and won’t hurt your wallet. And with QRCodeChimp, you can create unlimited static and up to 10 dynamic QR codes for free.
- Measurable: Dynamic QR codes are trackable, so you can track the scans on your QR codes and measure your retail marketing campaigns.
- Diverse: QR codes have numerous marketing and customer engagement use cases. You can use them to bring people to your website, share contact details, enable restaurant ordering, and more.
- Durable: Once you print a QR code on a solid surface like paper, plastic, or metal, it can stay there for years. Moreover, QR codes have up to 30% error correction. So, they’ll continue scanning even if they get a bit damaged.
- Cross-Platform: QR codes are platform-independent, i.e., you can scan them from an iOS or Android device. Therefore, QR codes can help you reach a broad audience.
Top applications of QR codes in retail marketing
Now that you have a brief overview of how QR codes work in the retail sector and their benefits, let’s look at their specific applications and how you can use them.
Enhance your product packaging
Product packaging plays a vital role in the success of retail brands. A product with top-notch packaging will likely get more sales. With QR codes, you can make your product packaging more appealing and actionable.
Now, QR codes offer a lot of opportunities for smart product packaging. Let’s discuss some of them in brief.
If you sell a food or beverage product, you can use a QR code to share detailed information about your product, such as its ingredients. For instance, you can share a PDF file containing product information using a PDF QR code.
Alternatively, you can have a QR code to send people to your site and build meaningful relationships with them. Similarly, you can use a Social Media QR code to bring your consumers to your social media profiles.
Upgrade your OOH advertising
Though digital media marketing is the norm, traditional advertising with billboards and signage still has a place. Strategic outside-of-home (OOH) advertising can help you increase brand awareness and recall.
But traditional advertising methods pose some challenges in this digital age.
For instance, you can’t know if someone viewed your billboard ad and took action. Tracking the ROI of traditional advertising is difficult.
QR codes resolve this hurdle.
You can include dynamic QR codes in your billboards, digital signage, and other traditional advertisements. This way, you can track the scans and evaluate the success of your campaigns.
Engage consumers at your storefront
Putting up QR codes at the storefront of physical stores is an excellent customer engagement strategy.
How many people walk by your store every day? Hundreds right? Maybe even more on weekends. Not every person passing by would want to enter your store and buy something, even if they’re interested.
You can use QR codes to encourage users to walk into your store.
For instance, people love discount coupons, and 68% of consumers consider coupons vital in generating loyalty.
You can use QR codes to share discount coupons. Put up a Coupon QR code at your storefront to allow people to redeem a discount coupon with a single scan. Now that they have a discount coupon, they’ll more likely enter your store and make a purchase.
Offer immersive in-store experiences
Putting up QR codes inside stores can skyrocket customer engagement and sales.
A study revealed that over two-thirds of in-store shoppers prefer searching for information on the phone instead of approaching the store staff. It’s more convenient for shoppers to access helpful information instantly on their smartphones.
And by putting QR codes inside the store, you can make this information even more accessible and improve shopper experience and satisfaction. For instance, you can use QR codes to share helpful PDFs to bring people to your website or social media.
Additionally, you can use QR codes to introduce gamification and other elements of user engagement.
Titan Eye+ is a classic example of in-store user engagement. The eyewear brand put QR codes in their stores, and consumers could scan them to take an eye test on their mobile phones. It was a win-win for consumers and the brand. The consumers got a free eye test, while Titan Eye+ collected valuable customer data.
Many retail brands have a mobile app to allow consumers to shop online. If you too have a mobile app, you can put App Download QR codes in your store to promote the app and increase downloads.
You must’ve seen outlets like Starbucks and KFC using QR codes to promote app downloads. You can do the same for your retail brand.
Make your print advertising actionable
Retail brands can enhance their print advertising campaigns by incorporating QR codes.
Let’s say you create a newspaper ad for your latest sandwich spread collection. You can create a QR code for your website and put it on your print ad. Users can scan the QR code to visit your website and make a purchase.
This way, you can make your print ads more actionable, resulting in more sales and better marketing outcomes.
Collect feedback and increase reviews
Positive customer reviews are instrumental to the success of retail brands. Over 90% of consumers read reviews before buying.
Retail brands can leverage QR codes to collect feedback and increase customer reviews.
You can put up a Feedback Forms QR code in your store to send people to a feedback form. This will enable consumers to share feedback seamlessly.
Similarly, if you want to get more Google Reviews, you can use a Google Review QR code. The QR code will send people to your Google profile, where they can rate your business and leave a review.
Retail marketing is becoming increasingly customer-centric, with the focus being on improving customer engagement and experience. QR codes are revolutionizing retail marketing by enabling brands to bridge the offline-online gap and better engage consumers.
If you want to upgrade your retail marketing efforts, QR codes are the way to go.
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