the future of qr codes

Imagine that on your walk home, every outdoor ad that you passed had a QR code that when scanned, would put the item into your shopping cart. Ladies and gentlemen: The future of QR codes isn't about entering people into your sweepstakes. It's about making their lives easier.

This installation by Tesco, a market in South Korea actually puts a virtual store in unexpected places (like subway stations), and lets people shop with their phones. Effective? The move increased online sales by 133%, and made their chain the #1 online seller in Korea.

The winning QR feature is indeed about improving your customer's life. And that's not likely a coupon or sweepstakes.


AI observer said...

Other than the fact that you are looking on a larger screen, and have the inconvenience of having to take a photo every time you want something, I don't see how this installation is better than - say - a shopping app, which has a full list of products, allows you to do it on the train (and not have you run up and down the virtual aisle).

I'm not trying to be confrontation or a troll, I'm genuinely interested in people's views. I really want QR to be better and used more but there's still major barriers for me. the need for a camera. Also the lack of standards within implementation - one QR I generated recently for our company was read in 3 different ways by 6 of the top free QR apps on iPhone.

Does anyone see this installation as a step forward (in which case I'm missing something, which is not impossible ;) )

RichSpalding said...

Hi Leon, firstly (don't take this the wrong way) have you ever tried online grocery shopping? I love online shopping, but for groceries it is a laborious task due to the disparity between the physical shopping experience vs online search+add+repeat mechanic (arguably repeat online grocery shopping gets easier).

This installation means you are online shopping, but in a familiar way to physical offline shopping. Targeting busy people that perhaps are not used to online grocery shopping at a time when they have nothing better to do.

Personally I think it's marketing genius.

With regards to the actual mechanic, Tesco/Homeplus (should have) the QR reader built into their shopping app, therefore no photo is taken, you just have to view the QR code in the screen and it should recognise it and add it to the basket without the need to press the shutter button and use memory saving a pic.

The only downside I see is that conversion rate may be hampered by some people feeling silly scanning all their shopping on a railway platform, whilst their fellow commuters look on, potentially chuckling to themselves as to why they bought the cheap brand over the premium one.

ChrissFife said...

Making customer's lives easier and helping them fulfill their wants and needs as it relates to your products/services should be part of every marketing effort, not just QR, but so glad you mentioned it here. QR codes are a great new opportunity for marketing, but unfortunately, too often companies take these new types of opportunities to just add more noise rather than add value. Hope lots of marketing professionals read this post and get this concept!

darryl ohrt said...

All good points. Chriss - I agree with you the all comes down to delivering value - QR and otherwise.

I see this as an excellent concept that could be taken a step further - what if all ads could become actual selling vehicles?

Instead of sending me to a url (or retailer), what if I had an option to "scan the QR to buy from Amazon now."

That's as close to the impulse buy as outdoor advertising could ever get.

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