QR codes used for successful mobile commerce for book sales

QR code virtual mall

QR code virtual mall

Co-op Bookshop makes the purchasing process easy with smartphone barcodes.

The Co-Op Bookshop has used a pilot program with QR codes to better its techniques for selling university textbooks in shop windows, and has now launched the new and improved process to ten of its locations.

By using the mobile commerce data from the trial, significant upgrades were made.

In the initial test, the Co-op Bookshop in the Macquarie University store had a wall of QR codes displayed in its front window. When students scanned the barcode assigned to a textbook, he or she would be directed to that volume’s specific webpage on the bookstore’s site. From there, they could opt to purchase that book.

The primary struggle from that method, said Greg Smith, the chief marketing manager of the company, was that the process was found to be too involved and complex for some smartphones. Smith found that it was important to simplify the process, reducing the number of steps that were required to make the purchase.

The store then worked with PayPal to create a mobile commerce website based on scanning QR codes.

From that partnership, a new website was implemented, allowing students to scan the QR codes using their smartphones or tablets, and then simply confirm payment through the use of a credit card or their PayPal accounts. This design allowed for a much faster and simpler process to have the book selected and then shipped to their doors.

This new system has been launched in good time for the semester that is just now underway. The bookstore has posted QR codes for the textbooks that are being purchased most frequently. The service is now available in ten of the 43 different locations.

According to Smith, even though students were able to use the mobile commerce site to purchase books online in the “traditional” way, they still seemed to enjoy walking over to the bookstore following their first lectures, to use their free time to peruse and purchase the books that they had just been informed that they would need. This used to lead to very long lineups during the first few weeks of class, but being able to simply scan QR codes in order to make the same purchase has notably shortened those lines.

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