Friday, May 14, 2021

QR Codes Get a Second Chance

Let’s take a quick poll. Raise your hand if you frequently used QR codes before 2020. Okay, now raise your hand if you frequently use QR codes now ✋. I feel like I am scanning a QR code almost every time I leave the house these days (and even sometimes when I’m just sitting on my couch). QR codes have kind of received a second life over the last year, and they aren’t wasting this opportunity.

Ways to Use QR Codes

There are now millions of ways to use QR codes that are more effective than just slapping one on a flyer and calling it a day. QR codes have been a saving grace for businesses in their effort to make everything contactless. And, they are the perfect way to get consumers engaged on their second screen. Here are just some of the many ways this wonderful piece of technology can be utilized.

On TV

We have talked about using QR codes on TV on this blog before, but they continue to be a popular trend. With the rise of streaming services, there has been about a 30 percent drop in traditional TV usage, and therefore it is harder for brands to keep viewers engaged during commercials. So, if you are advertising on cable and not streaming services, you need to do all that you can to make sure your commercial is engaging. What better way than letting viewers buy products right off the TV? Many brands have started to include a QR code either in the corner of the screen or incorporate them into the artwork of the commercial. Viewers can then scan the QR code with their mobile phone and go directly to the brand’s website to buy whatever product is being advertised. This is also an effective strategy on streaming services where it might be more likely that viewers will stick around for commercials since they are much shorter.

Ordering Food

If you have been out to eat anytime in the past year, I can almost guarantee that you have ordered food using a QR code at least once, whether it be to view the menu or to order your entire meal without having to interact with anyone. Implementing QR codes into restaurants is a great way to increase service time, as well as help customers, feel safer by eliminating some face-to-face interactions and the number of items they have to touch. In fact, some restaurants are really running with QR codes in restaurants and creating an entirely mobile restaurant by adding a mobile app and creating a layout optimized for mobile ordering.

QR codes can also be used to order food outside of a restaurant setting. Coca-Cola gave an example of how they are using QR codes in their free-style beverage machines. So instead of touching a screen that many others before you have used to make their drink choice, you can select it from your phone. There are many ways that restaurant and food brands can leverage QR codes, they just have to get a little creative.

On Products or In-store

While using QR codes directly on product packaging or in-stores is a more traditional way of using this activation method, that doesn’t mean you should overlook them! Including a QR code on the packaging is a great way to provide customers with more information on the product or as an activation to a mobile app for product onboarding. Additionally, having QR codes available on signs and posters in-store is an easy way to promote sales or special offers.

The bottom line is that there are hundreds of ways brands can introduce QR codes into their mobile marketing strategies. They are a great way to make consumers feel safe by limiting touchpoints, and an easy way to engage consumers on their second screen. If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that QR code technology shouldn’t be overlooked.