The facts are: over 20 percent of smartphones have shopping apps. This number is growing! ShopSavvy, an iPhone and Android barcode scanning and shopping tool, saw an increase in its mobile application with 1.9 million installments in April. This brought the total app downloads to 17.9 million. The Naked Facts, a report on QR code adoption covered the last 6 months of 2010 and showed an astounding 1200% increase in QR code scanning across North America. The reality is mobile barcodes are a goldmine of information and can greatly enhance your in-store experience.
How can you get the most out of your mobile barcode campaign?
Educate and Commit
I’m talking about you, your employees and your customers. First educate your employees. They need to be able to help your customers if they are having any problems understanding what to do. This may take a little up front time but the end result will increase the efficiency of your store. Second, educate your customers. I would put up signs explaining the QR codes and how to use them. Your employees should be ready to help if they run into any questions. Macy’s used a video explaining the codes in their “Backstage Pass” campaign.
Finally, COMMIT. Your company needs to commit. You cannot go half in and put up codes without a strategy and appropriate tools behind it. It you link your QR code to a web page, make sure it’s mobile-friendly. Spend the money to make it happen. If you don’t, your customers won’t give your barcodes a second chance.
Remember QR Scans = Customer’s Intent to BUY
If the customer is scanning in your code to get information on a product, they are interested. Don’t give them a product page that doesn’t tell them any more than they can already get from the store. Don’t give them a bunch of different angles of a product they can hold up and get on their own. Don’t give them the same information that is already on the packaging. Give them more! Give them information that is going to lead to a purchase.
What’s Your Strategy?
Do you want to find out what your customer is thinking? Ask them. Add a way to get customer feedback. If the product is getting scanned 50 times but you only sold one, why? Ask the “Do you like this? Yes or No.” If not, ask them why not. Send the information to your buyers and improve your display or merchandising. Imagine how powerful it could be if you could capture a demographic profile of the respondent.
Best Buy does a great job of giving information about the product. It gives customers more information about the product than the tag at the store could ever give. It gives real time ratings and customer reviews. The information is always fresh and up-to-date without having to reprint and distribute sale tags every minute of every day. Add the ability to check inventory levels of the store you’re in and nearby stores, cross-sell accessories and compare similar products. Also, what better way to support your sales staff than giving shoppers tools to answer questions when a sale associate isn’t available?
Engagement seems to be one of the big marketing goals today. How can you turn your simple mobile webpage into something that’s engaging? Add social tools like a way to post or like to Facebook or Twitter. Add a way to text or email friends/family to get their opinions. Ask questions. Give them a way to check into the store using foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places.
Email isn’t dead. Get their email address or sign them up for your SMS (text) marketing campaign. Reward them with an offer they can redeem in the store while they’re their. Get them to sign up for your loyalty/VIP program, like Shoppers Drug Mart’s v.i.b. program. How many do you think would find something to redeem that coupon that day? And how much would you decrease your cost of acquisition of a simple scan to sign them up?
Mobile consumers want value! According to a report from the Yankee Group, $5 million in mobile coupon transactions took place in 2010. It’s expected to increase to $2.37 billion in 2013. Are you taking advantage of this sales incentive? They’re in the store, ready to purchase. Give them that extra push to buy something today. Imagine the advantage of a mobile coupon compared to a magazine or newspaper they have to remember to bring with them, make it easy for the customer to take advantage of the offer and get something in return. Beyond the sale, get their info by opting them into your loyalty program or email/text database so you can continue a dialog for future sales.
Microsoft Tag has analytics built in. You can use bit.ly and goo.gl to create short links that can give you analytics on the number of scans. Also, utilize the wealth of information that a mobile barcode can contain. Best Buy uses the store number as part of the code to track where the scan is coming from. You can track where and when the shopper scans the code, how many codes have been scanned by the person and what actions he/she might have taken afterwards. Tie this in with product sales, active advertising/promotions, your web site data and the information gathered increases exponentially. Mobile barcodes gives you the ability to track, measure and understand consumer shopping patterns giving you the ability to more effectively market and merchandise at the store level.
- Don’t put the QR code so low it’s hard to get to
- Don’t distribute a mobile barcode without thoroughly testing it
- Don’t link to a generic webpage
- Don’t link to a webpage that isn’t mobile-friendly
NOTE: Think about adding a SMS short code for feature phones and phones that don’t have a scanner installed.
Value and engagement are key to retaining your customers in your mobile marketing programs. Create a clear and easy way for them to “win.” Coupons, contests, giveaways and exclusive content are popular and effective methods to do this. Make sure you have a call to action and gather as much information about the campaign as possible without being too obtrusive. Right now there is still a novelty and coolness to mobile barcodes. According to a comScore and Millennial Media report, 52% of people use their mobiles for research before shopping and 38% are doing while their shopping. As the number of smartphones increase, so will the percentages who take advantage of it. Take advantage of it now and control what happens in your store before your competitors do.
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