When assessing the current landscape of QR Codes, several pieces of research caught our attention:
Let’s begin with a study from Google and Ipsos OTX MediaCT titled “Our Mobile Planet: Global Smartphone Users” (Feb 2012). Six thousand individuals across the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Japan were polled in the course of 2011.
The first result that struck us was the speed at which smartphone penetration is increasing: from January 2011 to October 2011 smartphone penetration in western countries has increased by 20% (e.g. the U.S.) to 50% (the UK). As expected, almost 100% of smartphone users use their device to go online every day. It also comes as no surprise that smartphone users are avid video watchers and social networkers.
Interestingly, around 85% of smartphone owners seek local information and 1 in 5 make a purchase after finding that information. What does surprise us is that at least half of mobile shoppers make purchases monthly on their smartphones.
So what about QR codes? Our trend report gives some clues on their adoption, but comScore’s study “2012 Mobile Future in Focus” (Feb 2012) complements our research nicely. The report examines the mobile landscape across the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Canada. In total, 24 thousand respondents took part to the research.
It appears that when in a retail environment, almost 20% of US smartphone users have scanned a product barcode. This is roughly the same number of people who take pictures of products or call/text a friend about them.
Furthermore, 73% did so to find product information, 32% to uncover a coupon or offer and 25% did so to find event information.
The above is in stark contrast with what the users actually receive when they scan a code. According to a third piece of research from eMarketer, “Mobile Barcodes Drive Traffic to Brand Sites from Print” (March 2012), 40.7% of the codes in US advertisements linked to product information, a brand’s site or a purchase opportunity. However, only 7.8% of the codes led to opt-ins for newsletters or contests, and fewer than 1% led to special offers, coupons, etc.
Engaging consumers through their mobile device is about context (location, time) and action: “visit this shop next door”; “join the music event that starts in 30 min”; “scan this flyer and get an instant discount in this shop”; etc. All the ingredients to make it happen (mobile internet and devices, QR codes, consumer awareness of QR codes) are in place – marketers just need to grab the opportunity!
The latter half of 2011 was highlighted by a series of mobile-commerce experiments using QR codes. The goal was to understand the changing nature of shopping, driven by shoppers’ adoption of mobile technology. These initiatives sent a shockwave through the retail industry and mobile commerce quickly made the jump from fiction to reality.
Today, mobile shopping is rapidly becoming a legitimate part of an integrated, multi-channel retail strategy. In fact, the scale and frequency of these experiments is accelerating: in Q1 of 2012 we’ve seen as many virtual shops as in all of 2011.
Tesco Homeplus for example, which piloted the first virtual shop concept in 2011, extended its virtual stores in South Korea last month. Twenty bus shelters displayed groceries that users could purchase by scanning the appropriate QR Code with the Tesco Homeplus Smartphone App. Tesco’s app is now the number one shopping app in Korea with nearly one million downloads since it was launched last April.
PayPal opened QR code shops in 15 Singapore subway stations, allowing commuters to buy Valentines gifts on the go. When asked about the choice of QR codes, Southeast Asia and India Managing Director Elias Ghanem noted that with QR codes “no additional infrastructure is required for merchants, retailers and consumers.”
Virtual stores are also beginning to pop up in western countries. For example, in the US, Resultco redesigned store window display space to draw attention to various products, as a part of its Detroit Storefront Project. Consumers are encouraged to scan the QR codes in order to gain further information or make a purchase.
Also in the US, Glamour magazine joined the fray by setting up a shoppable wall across from the Standard Hotel in New York City. Consumers can scan mobile barcodes to buy cosmetics for home delivery. In the film industry, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment established the Fox Movie Mall virtual store fronts for consumers to purchase a movie and have it mailed to their home.
So where are we heading?
Consumers won’t rush to swap their shopping bags for shopping apps any time soon. However, as smartphone and mobile internet penetration surges, so does the mobile commerce market. Retailers that implement mobile as part of their strategy will have an early advantage in a market that’s growing faster than online commerce did the early 2000s.
Today, 18% of those that have scanned a code go on to make a purchase, and recent forecasts have predicted that mobile commerce will overtake traditional e-commerce by 2015.
At its current pace, it just may happen sooner…
Not too long ago, we selected our top QR Code Campaigns for 2011, a collection that featured some very inspired and creative work. With 2012 well on its way, it seems marketers are growing even more skilled and ambitious in their QR efforts.
So if you’re among the 86% of marketers planning to use QR codes, here’s a selection of the best campaigns in 2012 to some extra inspiration.
Scandinavian Airlines launched a promotion that required two mobile devices, side by side, to scan the code in order to obtain a deal. The “2 for 1 offer that takes 2 to see”. Amazing results. Check out the video here.
Why re-invent the wheel when you have a winning formula ? Inspired by the success of the QR Code race in Singapore, Mercedes-Benz launched “the A-Class QR-Trophy” competition which allowed participants to compete and collect “badges”. A video trailer can be seen here.
Maserati placed QR codes in print ads, which redirected users to a site where they could design the GranTurismo S of their dreams, find the location of the nearest dealer, and subscribe to the site’s email newsletter. Read more.
A bus shelter in Sydney, Australia was set up to stereo speakers that played tracks selected by the public via QR Code. This campaign was designed to show that unlike other car insurance companies, NRMA covers extras such as custom sound systems. Find out more.
Starbucks coffee lovers could find their favourite roast via a new campaign incorporating customized QR codes. The Starbucks bookmark flyer let consumers “find the roast they love the most” by scanning the ScanLife-powered QR code and voting for their favourite roast. Read more.
While London’s first Temaki Sushi restaurant was still under construction, the owners were able to reach out to consumers early. Construction was concealed behind a display of a QR code fish waiting to be scanned by pedestrians. Catching the fish gave the potential customer discounts for the grand opening of the restaurant. Find out more.
At a music festival in Poland, Heineken gave everyone attending the possibility to print and stick a QR code on themselves, which when scanned gave information about them and what they like doing. While it helped breaking the ice between participants, it also turned festival goers into walking billboards for the company. Read more.
Global beer brand Budweiser integrated QR codes into their product packaging, which allowed consumers to track their specific beer’s history. The content provided for the “Track Your Bud” campaign provided customers additional information about the source of their beverage, the way that its ingredients were selected, and the brewing process. Find out more.
To promote safe sex, PPGNW released 55,000 condoms with wrappers equipped with a QR code. After scanning the code, users could “check in”, displaying an interactive map showing where other users had done the same. Read more.
The US Playing Card Company developed ‘Jacked Up’ decks in which select cards contain QR Codes. Scanning the card during the game changes the rules. The decks will be available in April for the games of Solitaire, War and Hearts. Watch the video.
ScanLife kicked off the “ScanSocial” campaign at SXSW. Users had to scan the ScanSocial QR Code to enter the game and received their own QR badge linking to their Twitter profile. When people scanned the badge, they became your follower, giving you more points. Daily prizes were awarded to people in Austin with the highest number of followers. Find out more.
For expert advice or questions on QR Codes and mobile engagement opportunities consider reaching out:
- Visit ScanLife.com
- Join the LinkedIn Group “Exchanging Smarter Ideas on Mobile Engagement”
- Or, simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SXSW kicked off this week and ScanLife is going to help you fill up on Twitter Followers with your very own QR Code. With the help of Taco Bell and Viafo, we will be hosting the ScanSocial Game which starts when you scan this code with any QR Reader (we hear ScanLife is a good one…)
Here’s how it works:
1) Scan the ScanSocial Official QR code to enter or go to http://scansocial.appspot.com/ from your mobile device.
2) Enter your Twitter login and you will automatically get your own QR Code badge that links to your Twitter profile (thanks to world of API’s!)
3) When people scan your code, they will be an instant follower and you start racking up points
More followers = more points = more prizes!
Daily prizes will be awarded to people in Austin with the highest number of followers and you can get bonus points by following others and tweeting from the game. Daily prizes include a package of a $20 Taco Bell gift card, a $50 cash gift cards and getting tweeted by @tacobell to 170K followers! The Grand Prize winner with the most points for the week will win 4 tickets to the Closing Night Party at the Hype Hotel on March 17, 2012.
Daily winners will get announced from the 12th to the 17th.
The leaderboard will be updated real time so get started now, and start collecting your followers!
Year after year, SXSW has proven to be a go to destination for the latest innovations in film, music and technology. The annual media event showcases the brightest minds in up-and-coming technology along with special networking events and programs.
At ScanLife, we believe that mobile barcode technology is now the next big thing, enabling brands to engage with consumers in dynamic and measurable ways. Therefore, we’re proud to announce that we’ll be exhibiting at SXSW next week to share out latest innovations with visitors.
We’ll also be premiering an exciting new social gaming experience at the event. Each player will receive their very own QR Code to help gain Twitter followers and win prizes. Simple to play, easy to win. Intrigued? Then come stop by our booth!
If you’re around, let us know, we’d love to meet you. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter for breaking updates as the event and contest rolls along.
When: Mar 9 – Mar 18, 2012.
Where: Austin, Texas, USA.
If you’re going: Meet us at booth 443. More info here.
We’ve just released our best campaign examples over the past few months. As usual, the campaigns ranged from a variety of industries such as Sports and Entertainment, Retail and Quick Serve Restaurant.
Our newest set also featured plenty of brands using the ScanLife Custom Menu Code as a simple and effective way to create mobile formatted content. The ACC, Garage and East West Bank each used this dynamic code action to give their audience a mobile branded experience.
ScanLife’s Key Campaigns 2.12:
View more presentations from Scanbuy
Mobile barcodes could change the way we discover & share information from the world around us. We welcome your thoughts & ideas on how to make this technology matter - today and in the future.