Commerce back in the day was quite simple to grasp in terms of what it actually implied. Products and services were exchanged for money in a one-way stream.
Today, thanks to the ever expanding digital age we live in, commerce has e-volved, leading to e-commerce.
The industry has grown far beyond what we thought it could. It is quite an extraordinary field albeit overwhelming, in some respects.
When delving into the actual science behind e-commerce, one should have a mobile marketing glossary at hand. There are tons of acronyms that refer to specific actions one can partake in.
From B2B to CTA, from D2C to eCPM, these are just a few of the many terms that come to mind. While they are each applied in different contexts, they all share one thing in common: boost marketing efforts.
In this article, we’re going to be examining one of these terms in particular: O2O. So, without further ado…
What is O2O?
O2O stands for Online-to-Offline. In layman’s terms, O2O is the action of getting a product offline after purchasing it online.
As a marketing strategy, O2O benefits from two facts:
- The rise of mobile payment applications available on smartphones and tablets alike that allow users to instantly purchase products, and
- big and small retail companies that use dedicated mobile payment systems which can be used to purchase, compare, order and deliver products.
The concept itself has still much to prove but according to Innovation is Everywhere, O2O is rising in China.
WeChat and O2O
This last piece of information comes as no surprise since, as we’ve mentioned in our previous article, the messaging app WeChat is gaining traction in Japan as well as in China.
WeChat not only allows users to connect with each other, but also to perform mobile purchases; something that pretty much sums up where the trend is going.
It is only a matter of time until O2O strategies become a standard. As far as it may seem, there are major western companies that are pushing the envelope in terms of what O2O can do for them.
Walmart and O2O
Walmart has its own dedicated mobile payment system called Walmart Pay.
We’ve studied this application in the past and how it actually works. Basically, it bridges e-commerce with in-store shopping.
What is worth mentioning however, is that, in regards to O2O, the idea behind Walmart Pay lies in its clever use of QR codes.
O2O with the power of QR codes
QR codes are a medium in which people can access digital content from a physical platform. And as we’ve said before, the definition of O2O is Online-to-Offline.
Aside from the obvious connection between the two, the fact is that the use of QR codes is growing exponentially in different fields; one of them being e-commerce.
You might be new to the subject altogether. Or may be you’re looking for new QR code possibilities. So, let’s pose some examples of how to apply QR codes to boost your O2O strategy.
QR codes for retail stores
One thing that you have to have in mind before implementing QR codes to your business structure is that the technology needs to be put into good use for it to strive.
The call to action has to be clear and enticing for the code to be scanned. In other words, content is key.
Retail stores can use QR codes in a myriad of ways. An example of those could be, much like Walmart’s endeavor, to have customers scan a QR code while in-store to access specific information and purchase options on their mobile devices.
This interaction has two major benefits:
- Clients won’t have to waste precious time queuing to pay for a product – holiday season is inbound! – and
- while shopping online, you can have those same customers view more products and even grant them access to special content.
The latter brings us to another great example. You can think of QR codes as being keys that unlock something special.
That goody can come in the form of discount coupons. In-store clients can scan those codes to access said promotions.
User feedback is yet another use of QR codes that is growing. People can scan the code and read what others thought of a certain product.
Again, these ideas bring into focus the engagement aspect of QR codes and what your brand can gain by becoming active in this respect.
One last example from us truly is to have people scan QR codes that redirect them to YouTube videos.
Bare with us here; while not exactly an operation that allows users to actually purchase a product, they can however see how it can be assembled (if required) or watch a quick review by your company.
As important as it is to read, having your customers watch a video after scanning a QR code is an opportunity that you should take into consideration.
It’s a time-saver interaction and it opens up your brand to new social platforms.
From O2O to O2-Done
The technology that rests in the palms of our hands has immense potential. Interacting, gaming, working, and now… mobile devices go hand in hand with e-commerce.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the creation of QR codes. They turn the sometimes cumbersome and tedious operations into experiences that combine the tangible and intangible aspects of our world.
Having gone over the basic principles of O2O and how QR codes can boost this concept, why not give QR codes a try!
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