How QR Codes Have Made Their Way Into Marketing
Quick response (QR) codes are machine-readable barcodes that store information — usually a URL. QR codes are easy to use; you simply scan the code with your smartphone camera and are redirected to a link in a single step.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, QR codes have become immensely popular for businesses. Restaurants, for example, commonly use these codes for contactless ordering from their online menu. Not only have QR codes helped businesses adapt to an advancing virtual, contact-free world, but they have also supported their continued growth and development.
From a marketing perspective, QR codes have proven to be a useful tool for many companies. Here are several ways they have become relevant to the marketing world.
QR Codes Have Entered the Chat
So, why all the buzz about QR codes? For starters, they make things easier and more convenient for customers. Especially during the pandemic, they supported contactless ordering, shopping, and payment. In a single step, users could scan and be immediately redirected to a URL, omitting the more complex process of typing and searching for information, handling menus, and touching surfaces.
QR codes are also relevant and useful for various other outlets. They can be used to redirect customers to mobile applications or products and can be sent through social media and messaging channels (email & SMS) in the form of PDFs or photos. So, what does this mean for marketing, and in what ways are businesses using QR codes to grow and promote their brand? Here are a few examples of how QR codes are influencing the world of digital marketing.
QR codes link the physical world to the digital world, as they provide consumers with access to content on the internet from virtually anywhere. In a single step, users who scan a code are taken elsewhere. For instance, if a potential customer sees a QR code on a flyer or billboard that features a product, once they scan it they are instantly taken to a page featuring this product. This means that customers no longer have to shop in-store or browse the business’s website before this moment.
Customer feedback and reviews are important to the growth and development of a business. Feedback allows a business to improve its services by identifying weak points.
QR codes can be used to collect customer responses immediately following a purchase or service. They are a convenient way of gathering criticism because – again – they simplify the process of leaving a review. One way QR codes make giving feedback easier for the consumer is by including them on receipts. Customers can then scan and be redirected to a page that allows them to rate the services or satisfaction level and leave a comment immediately following their experience.
QR codes also make the process of leaving a review less time-consuming, as the scannable code leads customers directly to a simple questionnaire that allows them to evaluate their experience and submit a written comment. This is a much simpler alternative to a review service like Yelp, which requires searching and even signing up.
With QR codes, you can collect customer feedback directly, and, if possible, make immediate changes to your service(s). Simplifying the consumer experience, even through the review process, is a sure way to increase satisfaction with your business.
Email and SMS
Another great marketing use for QR codes is implementing them to build your business’ email and SMS mailing list. QR codes can be used to make signing up for mailing lists a simple and easy process for customers. They can be presented on site to customers (via a receipt or in-store banner) with a special offer when they sign up.
For example, businesses have been posting QR codes on in-store ads or posters that encourage their consumers to scan and sign up for their email or SMS list to receive a special discount or free gift with their purchase. This is another great way to not only grow your mailing list but also connect your physical, on-site store (and its shoppers) with the digital world.
Using QR codes also makes it easier for customers to sign up for email and SMS mailing lists. With QR codes, shoppers can opt-in while browsing online or waiting in line at the register in stores.
Businesses have also been using QR codes to market their social media. Linking your social platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) in a scannable code is a great way to direct consumer traffic to your social media page(s). This not only increases traffic and visitation to your social media, but it can also grow your business’s following and attract potential customers to featured ads and products.
If your business has an app, using a QR code that redirects customers to instantly download the application in a single step will increase your overall downloads.
Special Offers and Rewards
With your brand’s mobile app customers can scan a QR code when making purchases to redeem special offers (discounts, free gifts, etc.).
QR codes are also being used to collect rewards points. Customers can simply scan the barcode when making a purchase to earn points towards a future free gift or special offers – like DD (Dunkin Donuts) Perks or Starbucks Rewards Stars.
Using QR codes via an app to redeem sales and rewards also encourages consumers to download and sign up for your business’s mobile app. Rewarding customers for using QR codes and the mobile app is a sure way to increase their interaction, satisfaction, and purchases.
Whether it’s to a website, social media platform, or mobile app, QR codes can be used to direct consumer traffic to your brand. This is a great way to increase engagement and exploration of your business’s digital outlets. Simultaneously, users who scan a QR code that directs them to your site, social channels, or mobile app can become familiar with your business’s culture, services, and campaigns.
As QR codes have become a popular marketing strategy to increase consumer traffic, simplify the customer experience, and further encourage purchasing, it may be time for your business to consider how these scannable codes can give you a competitive edge. Contact Zero Gravity Marketing to learn more about trending marketing strategies, and how your business can optimize consumer traffic and engagement.