Scanning barcodes makes communication, engagement, and shopping faster and easier.
Those little smartphone barcodes called QR codes are grabbing a great deal of attention from companies, marketers, and consumers alike, and while some people love them and others hate them, what can be said almost universally is that they have the potential to save a lot of time.
These black and quite squares are popping up virtually everywhere, these days.
They are commonly found on billboards, bulletin boards, business cards, bills and invoices, catalogs, magazines and newspapers, and product packages. When scanned by a smartphone or a tablet, they can bring you to a mobile commerce website, a product comparison tool, a video, or virtually anything else online. For that reason – and several others – they’re being seen as an important time saver.
A simple scan of QR codes brings the smartphone user directly to the page or site without having to enter a URL.
However, that’s not their main purpose. The trick is not only to see them as a trick to avoid having to type a website address into a browser’s address bar on an awkward device keyboard. Instead, that is only a part of it. They should be viewed as a bridge that carries consumers from the real world to the digital environment in order to accomplish a specific goal.
It isn’t enough to use QR codes to direct a consumer to a homepage. Once they arrive, they’re left asking themselves “now what?”. Instead, they should provide a fast and easy way to obtain something useful.
For example, many barcodes are used to find specific product or service information from a mobile commerce site so that it can be purchased either in-store or online. Other QR codes are placed on packages so that they can be scanned to order an item on a store shelf or reorder something that has already been purchased. Invoices and bills feature these codes so that users can scan them and pay their phone, internet, or electricity bill in one simple step. Some shops use them to invite consumers to take advantage of unique mobile commerce offers such as discount coupons or free gifts.
Whatever the use, QR codes can save a tremendous amount of time in the effort to bring consumers to the goal location online, and for consumers to be able to arrive there without having to do anything but scan a barcode.