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It’s 2018: Are QR Codes Still Relevant?

December 27, 2017 | Renee Clare-Kovacs

It’s 2018: Are QR Codes Still Relevant?

QR code give shoppers quick access to information. There are not any alternatives that are as useful. You have your shopper’s eyes for a matter of seconds-- if you can quickly convey that you have useful, engaging content, you can grab their attention. Even with this short-term win, you are still limited to the amount of time you can keep them engaged. QR codes can make your 1 minute or so of customer attention into a bridge to 5 minutes worth of content that can lead shoppers to more information about your store and the products you sell.

Weren’t QR Codes Already a Thing?

QR codes were the rage not so long ago but seem to have fallen out of favor. The ease of use created a saturation of the market that made them easy to ignore. Worse was when shoppers, interested in a product, scanned the QR code to be led to broken links or underwhelming content. The increased interest in interactive experiences is helping make QR codes relevant again for 2018, but when done well. In order to break through the marketing noise and use QR codes successfully, you need to be sure that your QR codes correctly and quickly lead shoppers to content that is valuable to them.

Go Retro

Putting QR codes back into your marketing is technology retro. Sure, it’s not 20 years retro, but in a digital timeline, QR codes in 2018 feel like a throwback. This is a reminder, then, to make sure you highlight your QR code marketing so that your shoppers know it is interactive and relevant, not a sign of stale product promotion.

Because of the potential for oversaturation, you will need to be strategic with your QR marketing. You’ll want to make the most of the few opportunities you’ll have to engage your shoppers. Let your QR codes be seeds that, when followed, lead to a garden of directed marketing. When scanned, the code should send users to a page of exclusive content that they cannot get in the aisle. Do not miss the chance to measure your engagement using different marketing channels, email or social media for example. When you change the content, do not forget to scan the QR code just as your shoppers will do to make sure all the links are working correctly so you can avoid the reputation created by dated marketing practices.

QR codes also offer a chance to quickly share information. Include a code on the bottom of your receipts that lead to:

  • Social media channels
  • Specials page
  • Event information

By keeping the associated pages updated, you can easily keep your shoppers engaged.

Rules of Engagement

A couple of tips about using QR codes that you should remember:

Keep it small: many retailers were putting QR codes on their doors and side of vehicles where customers had to stand too far back to get the whole code in. The code has to fit inside the scanner from a reasonable distance (1-2 feet).

Measure: keep up with analytics associated to your QR codes. Seeing that people aren’t scanning anymore is a sign that your content needs to be updated. The numbers can also help you see where your customers like to engage with you.

On-Trend for 2018

Even though they are easy to use, be very selective with distribution. Remember, oversaturation ruined codes the first time, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by overwhelming shoppers in one place. By making QR codes a useful marketing strategy, you have the opportunity to be retro-trendy with your marketing while avoiding the reputation of just being old.

Click here to see how Sellr has helped retailers sell better.

Renee Clare-Kovacs is the Content Marketing Strategist at Sellr. She is passionate about creating digital marketing strategies that help business owners develop successful relationships with customers and vendors.


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