More than just bridging the gap: QR codes and customer engagement
If you still think QR codes are antiquated investments offering little returns, if you still think customers scoff at these once comically malfunctional codes, think again.
Apple’s addition of a built-in QR scanner to iPads and iPhones has massively expanded the scope of the game. Over one billion mobile devices and their owners are now hungry for the convenience and delightful surprises that QR codes hold in store for them.
Facebook, Amazon, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn have all introduced QR functions, reinventing these once humble codes with superior technological foundation and making them more integral to how we communicate by the day.
As brands look to Asia, where QR codes have attained near ubiquity in several countries, for inspiration, it’s time that they prepare for connected worlds of their own. How can they fuse these scannable mazes with customers’ demand for seamless, continuous journeys?
Don’t stop at the scans
QR codes are going through a resurgence. About 5.3 billion QR code coupons are expected to be redeemed in 2022. There are positive signs of growing acceptance even in the United States, where the QR code got off to a rocky start a few years back and has yet to recover widespread acceptance.
For example, the very popular Whole Foods grocery store chain, recently acquired by Amazon, now offers discounts on selected items to Amazon Prime customers using QR code scanners at checkout. And, although they may not recognize it, millions of US travellers have been using QR codes for several years every time they present a mobile boarding pass for air travel.
Brands worldwide are riding this new wave of acceptance to put these little scannable mazes to a variety of uses, hoping to augment, or even reinvent, aspects of their operations, including:
• Direct to landing pages
• Trigger communications via specific channels
• App download
• Coupons and discounts
• Confirm subscription
• Share relevant product information
• Purchase actions (e.g., adding a list of curated products to the online shopping cart)
• Augment in-person brand experiences (e.g., Triggers AR experiences when scanned)
• And more
All of these applications are now a quick smartphone scan away, but QR codes should enable much more than one-off transactions. Brands should situate QR codes along evolving customer journeys, utilizing them to further refine interactions as customers move through touchpoints at their own pace.
Individual recognition and experience: Not every QR code-triggered interaction is a simple transaction. Ensure you have the right tools in place to recognize new and returning customers as they scan your QR codes. If relevant, consider implementing personalized web content as well. Customers prefer their interactions to be custom tailored, and mobile experiences are no different.
Ensure omnichannel handoffs: QR codes are supposed to unlock smooth, hassle-free interactions, so assess your data—customers’ preferred channels, usual customer journeys, campaign responses, and more—to map out their journeys across channels, before and after they scan your QR codes. Is email the best channel for your follow-up communications? When do your customers tend to engage with QR-related content on their phones? What channels do they use next? Whatever the answer, make sure you have a clear vision of how different channels fit together.
A customer’s past interactions should inform their future QR experiences. Leveraging the power of QR codes marks not only an expansion of omnichannel marketing, it’s also another enabler of the seamless continuity of customer experiences.
Interested in how Resulticks can transform your QR codes for omnichannel campaigns? Request a demo now.