Alibaba is using quick response codes to make purchases through printed ads.
The massive online and mobile commerce giant, Alibaba, has now announced that it is partnering with a number of different media outlets in order to launch a shopping program based on scanning QR codes.
This will allow consumers to be able to buy the products that they see in printed advertisements.
The Chinese e- and m-commerce company is giving readers the chance to scan QR codes when they see products that they like. This will direct them to the relevant page for that item on one of the many Alibaba online shopping websites (for instance, Taobao). At that point, those smartphone users will be able to learn more about the products by reading about the various details within the listing, and can actually purchase the item and have it shipped to their homes or businesses.
These QR codes could present a massive opportunity for the online marketplace.
The reason that placing quick response codes for product purchases in newspaper ads could be very promising is that there are currently more than 1,000 daily newspapers currently being printed in China. Those publications have over 100 million readers. This means that a partnership with even a handful of them – though Alibaba has scored far more than a handful in its deal – could present the opportunity to boost awareness among a massive number of consumers who may not yet have had a large amount of exposure to the online shopping experience.
According to the company, it sees newspapers as a type of mobile product. It would seem to make more sense to define it as more of a physical portable product, instead. Either way, it provides yet another example of the ways in which e-commerce companies such as this one are not hesitating to experiment with new and potentially lucrative ways to combine old and new platforms in order to boost their exposure and their sales.
This is not the first time that QR codes have been used to direct customers to a purchase page, but it is likely the largest scale use of the technology for this purpose.