QR Codes , shortened for Quick Response Codes, have become the latest e-commerce trend among the consumers and the retailers. It won’t be incorrect to say that we can find QR codes everywhere- pizza boxes, clothes, books, bottles, flyers, shop doors etc. QR code signifies as a type of barcode that anyone can scan and read with a camera on their smartphone.
QR codes are used for a variety of purposes: from keeping a count of COVID infected people in China to QR code prints on restaurant menus for customers. QR code would give either its user instant information or direct him to the website to perform a certain action.
Keeping in mind the easy way to scan these codes in order to be receiving something which you do not expect actually attracts the customers. Once scanned, QR codes can send the user to a PDF, landing page or video, or prompt a text message conversation, and much more.
Usually the terms QR codes and Barcodes create confusion among retailers. In reality, QR code is just a type of Barcode in itself.
Difference between QR Code and Barcode
- Capacity to Hold Information-
Barcodes hold information in just horizontal direction while QR codes are able to hold information in both horizontal and vertical directions. This makes them hold more information than barcodes.
- Error Correction-
The chances of error happening for a QR code is just 7-30% which signifies that even if the package of the product is damaged or destroyed yet the QR code would do its job. The case is not similar with the Barcodes
Features of QR Codes-
- They are small Codes with Large Information. QR codes are able to carry large information within themselves more than the normal Barcodes
- They also have high capacity to encode data with which your data can remain secure
- QR codes have more than 40 Versions. Each version has a different module or combination of modules under it. This means that more data can be accumulated with more modules in a QR code making it larger and heavier with information.
- A QR code has the capability to be read speedily 360 degree or omni-directional way
- The data in a QR code is safe from dust and damage as it can be retrieved anytime, in any situation.
- A large QR code can be divided into multiple small QR codes in order to distribute the information and make it smaller.
Benefits of using QR codes for ecommerce business-
- Instant access to information
- Increase in incoming traffic
- track conversion rates from specific marketing campaigns
- direct customers to CTAs
- improves customers’ brand loyalty thanks to dedicated coupons and giveaways
- helpful in taking customer reviews and feedback regarding the products
- tracking marketing campaigns’ performance
- information under QR code can be updated easily
- directing customers to websites or social media pages without wasting navigation time.
- it has sustainability benefits as it cuts down on the use of paper
- they are easily traceable as you can keep a record of how many times they are being scanned and out of that how many times it is leading to sales generation.
- they are inexpensive means of marketing and traffic driver
Ways to use QR codes-
QR codes are becoming the future for online industries and ecommerce. In the world of Ecommerce, QR codes have a variety of uses like in the fields of marketing, payment, shipment tracking etc. They have the capacity to revolutionize the way we shop and the after sales service. This would make the shopping process more convenient and hassle-free for consumers and retailers.
Moreover, it is very easy for consumers to use QR codes as the scanning requires a camera for both Android and iOS mobile devices. While for the business owners too it is very easy to establish and requires least monetary investment. If they are implemented in a correct manner, QR codes are actually a cheap way to boost sales and also provide better after sales experience to their customers
QR codes have variety of uses in ecommerce -:
1. Direct Customers to your Landing Page or Social Media Pages-
Customers going directly to your landing page will boost your online presence and increase your online store’s traffic. You can put the QR code on your shopping cards, bills, product packaging , social media pages etc.
Also this way it would be easy for your customers to access your website without navigating their way around the page. Thus it would give them a hassle-free experience. But you have to make sure that you use a unique URL matched with your QR code to measure it accurately.
2. Online and Offline Advertisements-
QR codes are a great match with advertisements. It helps your potential customers find your website easily without typing the URL on their devices to be looking for you.
QR codes can be used on online advertisements like those on social media platforms of your website in order to invite the customer for “Call-to-Action”. While in the Offline advertisements QR codes can be put on magazines, packaging, outside stores etc.
3.Promotions and Discounts-
Customers love discounts, especially when they are really easy to get by just scanning a QR code. Awarding your loyal customers with coupon QR codes would boost their loyalty towards brands. The easy scanning of QR codes would lead them to product pages with special discounts. The urgency of the situation can also be increased by statements like “the code runs out within the next month unless it’s scanned.” This will make the customers feel acknowledged and also create a hurry to purchase on their parts.
4. Cashless Payments-
In the starting years of introduction of QR codes for businesses, they were mainly used to promote online checkout cashless payments. Many retailers like Zara, Starbucks etc have adopted the concept of QR code payment a long time ago. While for the ecommerce giants micropayment or mobile wallet payment is a solution to save their customers from various online payment embezzlement cases.
Micropayments or mobile wallets are special kinds of online digital wallets in which you can add money from other banks or even in some cases drop money directly in their accounts that would be transferred to your digital wallets. Some of the Micropayment giants are Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay etc. They can even be collaborated with various ecommerce businesses in order to provide the customer a secure online payment experience.
5. Customer Feedback-
In e-commerce businesses there exists least customer and retailer interaction which may become a barrier. As for the customers it is difficult to communicate reviews and give feedback regarding the product. In this situation, Customers can simply scan the code with their mobile phone camera that would be displayed on the package in order to deliver feedback on their product usage experience.
This review can be then displayed on various social media platforms in order to increase engagement among potential customers and their purchase.
6. Product Tracking-
QR codes can be given to the customers after their online purchase so they can keep a track of their shipment and be informed about the location of their product. They are considered ideal for inventory tracking as they are able to hold more than 7000 numbers—or 4000 alphanumeric characters
7. Product Packaging-
There has been an ongoing trend of posting the QR code on the product in order to remind the customer to scan it in order to receive full information about the product like its nutrition levels, manufacturing etc. With this the ecommerce retailer can also review the product by rating it and giving their useful feedback. You can even inform the customer about your future collaboration or upcoming product in order to keep them updated. This way the Brand transparency of the business is..