One of the most fun and interesting things about business web design and online marketing is that it's a bit like fashion or art: Every once in a while, something that's been around for a long time comes back in a new form, and more effective than ever. We've already seen it in pay per click advertising, search engine marketing, and social media.
Now, the same thing is happening with barcodes... only this time, they're just a little bit different. Make no mistake, though, marketing through QR codes can be a wonderful way to attract more buyers, and more sales.
If you haven't tried QR codes before, or aren't entirely sure what they are, here's what you need to know: Although they look somewhat like traditional barcodes, QR codes are actually small images that customers can photograph or scan with their smart phones. Once they do, the QR code takes them to a specific Internet destination – one that you have specified.
In that way, QR codes bridge the gap between print advertising, mobile business web design, and online marketing. Where can QR codes be placed? There aren't many limits, since they can work almost anywhere that your customers can take a picture of them or scan them in their smart phones. That could include a billboard, your storefront window, on shelf space, on your business card and pamphlets, or in a print advertisement, to name just a few examples.
What makes QR code so exciting, however, isn't just that they can go almost anywhere, but that they can be used for almost anything. Here are just a few of the ways successful marketers have already put QR codes to use:
To offer shoppers further product info. Let's say your customer is looking around your store, and you would like them to have more information on the featured product. Simply place a QR code next to it, and they can find all the relevant details online in seconds.
To offer a coupon. Likewise, a QR code placed at the front of your retail shop, or in a print ad, could offer users an instant coupon or special web price. That's great for sales, and also allows you to track the QR code's effectiveness.
To take customers straight to online reviews. If you want shoppers to see how popular your products have been with others, simply use a QR code to show them the relevant reviews. Again, it only takes a second, and can make the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity.
To let customers compare prices. If you have the lowest prices, then don't keep it a secret. Your QR code could take visitors to a page showing your prices next to your competitors’.
To download a document. If you have the kind of product or service that can be promoted with a special report, article, flier, or other document, why not use QR code advertising to let customers access it or download it?
To sign up for something. From newsletters to events, QR codes are perfect for bringing customers to registration pages and sign-up sheets, and to your social media pages to get more “like”s, “follows”, network connections, “subscribes”, etc.
These are just a few uses for QR codes, and there are probably thousands more that exist, and thousands of new ideas currently being investigated. Their use is really just beginning to evolve.
Owners of all size businesses should have a mobile marketing plan that takes advantage of the tremendous opportunities available in the mobile technology environment. If you would like to sit down and discuss these opportunities, you should contact WSI since we have been helping small and medium size businesses grow through professionally developed mobile and online strategies for many years.