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Using QR codes to enhance customer engagement

By: capturecode | Jul 25, 2013

The divide between the digital and physical worlds is blurring, with new technology allowing people to tap into the internet even when they aren't near computers. Smartphones and tablets are the catalyst, allowing people to communicate with brands, interact with in-store products and conduct research even while they are on location.

One digital element that many companies are beginning to make use of is quick-response (QR) codes. These squares can be printed on anything from product packaging to signage posted around stores and enable you to take your customers on a digital journey of your design.

Some brands use QR codes to provide customers with additional product information, allowing them to learn more about the item in front of them and read user reviews. Others leverage them as part of a promotional effort, driving users to rewards programs, landing pages and coupons. Others yet embrace QR codes as part of digital games such as scavenger hunts. There are myriad uses for these bar codes, but the outcome is the same: a better experience and greater customer engagement.

MarketingProfs contributor Uriel Peled notes that by merely placing QR codes on advertisements beside calls to action, you can effectively increase engagement by 25 percent. Citing research from Pew Internet, he also adds that given the fact that 85 percent of American adults own a cellphone {One word per AP}, QR codes can lead to customer experiences that are substantially more interactive and memorable.

"In a world that revolves around branding, the ability to turn any design into a visual QR Code becomes a very powerful tool for businesses to strengthen brand," he asserts. "Though the design of an ad or a well-known logo is what triggers a customer's desire to engage, a visual QR code can transform the desire to engage into the ability to actually do so."

Integrating QR codes into mobile applications
So how do you implement a successful QR code program into your operations? The only way for consumers to scan the codes is if they have an app built to do so, and this can be a big boon to your existing mobile app efforts. Whether you integrate a QR code function into your existing app or make it a standalone program, this is the first step to getting customers to interact with them.

Once that has been done, it's up to you to decide the best way to use QR codes. This depends a lot on your business and your target audience. For instance, a healthy food restaurant could have QR codes that link to nutrition information. A toy store could have scavenger hunts that parents can take their children on. Retailers could use them as coupon dispensers. As trite as the saying is, the sky is limit when it comes to QR codes.

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