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Other Great Uses for QR Codes You Probably Didn’t Consider

Service Based Usage for QR codes

In my last article, I went over the proper usage of QR codes for giving information about your product or services to consumers. The biggest problem with QR usage is not understanding them and the power they wield. Because they can be self-generated through a myriad of sites, people don’t use them correctly or they are not generated correctly and when they don’t work, people blame the technology and not themselves. It’s time to wake up to the proper use of QR codes and how they can be successfully integrated into your marketing.

In this article, let’s explore using QR codes to promote certain services people can access by scanning generated QR codes.

Tesco’s Home Plus Supermarket

They found a unique way to help Koreans with their grocery shopping. They placed lifelike billboards depicting supermarket shelves in the subway and shoppers waiting for their trains could scan the QR codes, check out online, and the goods would be delivered to them at home.

JCPenny’s Santa Tags

They allowed customers to personalize holiday gifts with a QR code gift tag that contained a recorded message from the gift giver.

Columbia Sportswear

They launched a fun green initiative to help persuade customers to choose a used packaging box over a new one to cut down on their environmental impact. As a fun byproduct of the program, by scanning the QR code on a box, customers could track the journey of where it had been and upload pictures and comments to add to the box’s story.

The Melt

The Melt, a chain of grilled-cheese restaurants, uses a unique method that lets you skip waiting in line. It’s not consumers using the QR codes by placing an order on their mobile phone — it’s when the order is received it creates a QR code, and holding the on-screen code over a scanner in the restaurant gets the order processed!

The Florida State Law Library

The Florida State Law Library uses QR codes in book stacks to link to related electronic resources, for expanded research. The University of Gloucestershire Library, U.K., prints QR codes in all its books that link to the renewal system so book borrowers don’t have to travel to the library to renew a book.

Unique service usage

L’Oreal partnered with Glamour for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and turned a fleet of NYC taxis into Taxi Shops through QR codes. Riders could buy products right in the cabs during their trips. One in three passengers scanned the codes, and 25 percent made a purchase. 90 percent of those who took the call to action downloaded the L’Oreal mobile app. This is a great usage of codes because people are usually bored and not doing anything when they’re riding in a NYC taxi, usually stuck in traffic.

Starbucks, and other stores have started using QR codes, integrated with pre-loaded money cards on their phone app to speed customers through the ordering and paying process as well as learning about other products at the store.

In an odd service usage, Glamour magazine got 512,000 reader engagements for their “Friends and Fans” campaign that asked people to like advertisers in the issue by scanning a code. This worked because Glamour made sure everyone who read this issue understood how to scan the code. There were instructions in several pages of the magazine.

While it didn’t service the needs of the readership (directly), it certainly helped service the advertisers, which indirectly kept them advertising in the magazine, which could keep publishing in tough times for print and the readers could keep on enjoying the magazine.

Well, it’s not unique nor does it work well. Policy restaurant and lounge in Washington, D.C., placed QR codes in its front window; some of the codes take customers to the menu tab on its website, while another code directs to reservations and a third to directions. The problem? It’s in the window of the restaurant and not on their website. Consumers will not stand outside, on a busy street, scanning a code so they can stand there and read through an entire menu, nor will they call from just outside the door to make reservations. Certainly they don’t need directions to the front door, just a few steps away.

It would have been a better idea to limit the code to the specials of the day, or a digital coupon. Most diners today have already checked out a restaurant’s menu and reviews online, so why repeat information again? Let users make reservations through QR codes on the restaurant’s web site as well as make any other special arrangements.

In the next article, we look at offering coupons, specials and other QR uses for rewarding consumers for taking the time to scan codes and engaging with your product and service.

Image ©GL Stock Images

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