Ok so we now have a basic premise as to why I believe retail stores have a need to create traffic to their physical stores and how a store might use a QR Code to create a more immersed customer experience. The goal is to provide a great mobile experience and tying in the Brand’s own social media efforts into a single QR code.
Since the main purpose of a QR code is to direct a mobile device to a URL, it is only natural that a mobile web interface must be considered. I find a lot of QR codes linking back to web page that is not designed for mobile browsers and this will only drive people away. These pages take a longer time to load, harder to see, smaller buttons to push, and zooming; all which could eventually frustrate and damage the consumer’s confidence. None of us enjoy wasting our time or to put in effort for no return. This is why user experience is an important factor to consider.
A good mobile page will offer a better user experience. For example… how many of you have visited your local car dealer’s website from your mobile phone lately? If you have not, I’d recommend you try punching in a few. I am willing to bet you will find a dealer’s mobile experience far superior to the PC experience. The information is concise and if I need to call to check on my service, I click the Service button on the mobile browser and I’m prompted to complete the call now or cancel. I don’t have to memorize the number, then close the browser, open the keypad, and dial, I just touch call now and the phone performs all of those actions by the time I have the phone to my ear. Not really a hassle, but they have effectively created a call to action that cuts my efforts to almost zero.
Brand and In-store Integration
Ok BestBuy… I have to admit they’ve done a lot of improving of their mobile site since Christmas. This blog would have been better had they not… Their store locator will update you on inventory of your store and surrounding stores as well as availability dates of any product you browse. I also like that they have adopted the Wiki like collapsible menus. A lot has been done to tie in the local store integration since I last scanned a code and even included a QR reader in their latest app. I suspect that mobile browsers will soon be able to launch your smart phone’s app providing a much more customizable and personal experience. But until then…
Brands are important for retail and vise-versa. We’ve recently seen more and more brands dive into the social media space to reach out to their consumers. As analysts, we’ve created tools to monitor and measure a brand and help them see the value of their social media properties. We often measure successful social media brands by those engaging their consumers. We have essentially encouraged brands to become content creators.
Retail can leverage these same social media efforts to apply them to the retail experience through QR codes. Using the brand’s YouTube account for example, you see unique video content, not just the same commercials on TV. Utilizing video demos, celebrity endorsements, behind the scenes, exclusive information, and customized experience can improve the retail experience. Later this may lead to cooperative advertising in retail stores. All of this can be integrated into a mobile web site directed from a QR code and managed like any other corporate owned online property. The mobile web site also allows web analytic tools to provide in-depth analysis on the usage and success of the site.
What content would you like to see if you scanned a QR code near a product? Let’s say… DVD, Video game, TV, phones? Or would you not even bother?