I recently wrote a post covering the basics of quick response codes and how they are being used by retailers and other forward-thinking persons. Since then, Content Ping has been fortunate enough to chat with Seattle-based, QR-Jedi Murat Divringi. He’s a true expert on the topic, so I highly recommend checking out his view of the future, which includes a retail landscape covered in “robot barf.”
I originally intended to give examples of both good and bad QR code use, but frankly, bad is the status quo. So if you want a bad example, just scan the first QR code you see–the odds are in your favor.
I will, however, list a few common QR mistakes:
- The content is not mobile optimized (Why would anyone commit this blunder?)
- The code itself isn’t easily visible
- The content is cumbersome or overwhelming (like a massive PDF or slow-loading video)
- No information to indicate what the payoff is–a code with no explanation is less likely to be scanned
- The payoff is disappointing–this just further embitters shoppers already skeptical about QR codes
Using the QR Code to Deliver Merchandising Content
I would now like to share with you fine people a review of good QR execution. Kohler–illustrious manufacturer of faucets, shower heads, and other shiny things–deserves serious props for their excellent use of the quick response code. Rather than attempting something flashy or serving up a half-baked idea, Kohler gives the QR scanner exactly what they need: clear, thorough merchandising content that helps the shopper come to a decision about an item.
The images below are screenshots of what you’d receive if walked into a Home Depot and scanned the QR code for a particular Kohler sink. It is simply a mobile-optimized product page that happens to have superb content.
A person can walk into a home improvement store, scan the QR code associated with this product, and within seconds be viewing useful merchandising content. This is one of the keys to QR code use: the content should be relevant to the consumer right then and there. That is certainly the case with this undercounter sink.
Using a QR code this way is essentially the same thing as using a retailer app to research a product in lieu of a sales assistant. However, for people who aren’t intimidated by QR codes, a simple scan is much quicker than opening and navigating an app, typing in the exact product name, and so on.
Admittedly, much of this potential is predicated on shoppers having the know-how to scan a QR code. But the amount of effort a manufacturer or retailer has to put into attaching a code to content is fairly minimal, and the benefit to the shopper could be considerable. Besides, once more marketing folk begin to make better use of QR codes, savvy shoppers–and those inclined to be on the cutting edge of technology–will doubtlessly catch on, and a classic chicken-and-egg event will ensue.
Use QR codes to deliver relevant information, not for useless marketing ploys.