According to the RTP WhitePaper Integrating Mobile Across All Touch Points, Smartphones will Influence $689 billion in Retail Store sales by 2016. They currently influence approximately $159 billion in total sales revenue and with 100s of billions of dollars at stake the inconvenient truth is that retailers need to contend with shopper behavior changes and the challenges of this new dynamic environment. Not to mention, mobile marketers have yet to unilaterally codify benchmarks for success.
As shown in the below chart, only 50% of the brands polled have mobile web sites, less than a third use mobile technology currently and less than a third leverage mobile for customized promotions/offers through customers’ devices; the quintessential example of MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
Overlooking mobile as a means to engage with customers is a travesty and could be the catalyst in the demise of a retailer or brand.
Sound severe? Well it is, and here’s why:
When asking consumers about their most recent shopping trip, Deloitte found that 72% of smartphone owners indicated they made a purchase on that day, compared with 63% of shoppers who did not tap into their devices within the same period.
The moral is smartphone-toting consumers appear more likely to make a purchase than those who do not own one or do not use it to assist with in-store shopping.
We have entered into a brave new digital world where contextual content can be experienced, any time, any place—creating more opportunities than ever beforefor marketers to reach, engage and measure consumers.
Sophisticated shoppers respond to the “pull” advertising model whereby consumers request product info and pull it through the delivery channel.
Age, gender, income level, location, region, country, etc. are paramount and vital to delivering the right piece of information to the right individual. Using business intelligence to guide marketing decisions will enable retailers and brands to respond to these hand raisers.
The ScanLife platform captures vital metadata such as Handset OS, Location and Demographics via smart code technology.
Easily enabling retailers and marketers to deliver contextual and personalized experiences based on parameters such as language setting of device, time of scan, location, etc.
To learn more, please email sales@ScanLife.com
Comparing prices online has become the shopper’s mandatory rite of passage prior to most purchases. By enabling this habit during the purchase, smartphones have, in effect, negated retailers the control of their shopper’s experience in their own store — creating a new challenge for marketers in the form of “showrooming”, where consumers check out a product in store, and then go online to buy it. In fact, our post back in December highlighted the fact that smartphones influence 5.1% of annual retail stores sales, a figure which is expected to grow to 19%, or $689 billion in brick-and-mortar transactions by 2016. And since brick-and-mortar retailers incur much higher fixed costs than online retailers, they cannot compete on price – at least in the long run.
So gone are the days when more shoppers (or footfall) translated immediately into more buyers, particularly if the retailer sells relatively costly, non-perishable items such as consumer electronics.
Now for the good news: While price is critical to maintain market share, other variables have been propelled to the front stage: according to a new report, “Showrooming: Empowering Consumer Electronics Shoppers” from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the top three drivers for purchasing in-store are:
In contrast, the top ranked motivators for purchasing online are as follows:
In summary, it appears that brick-and-mortar retailers appeal to shoppers for the same reasons that the teleconference technology of the world cannot replace good old fashioned face-to-face meetings. Shoppers are able to see, touch, try the product, and experience the instant gratification that comes with its purchase.
And to maximize opportunities for conversion, mobile engagement technologies are the retailer’s best weapon. Indeed, in two previous articles (available here and here), I compiled examples of retailers which are able to increase their reach, the stickiness of their stores and multiply opportunities for conversion at every stage of the purchase process.
These simple yet effective tactics consist of linking physical assets, e.g. through QR Codes, to a mobile-optimized page so shoppers can watch demos, read comments, review product information, place an order, receive a coupon or collect points which are redeemable in-store (and much more). In the process, a retailer will understand which collaterals work better than others and collect valuable consumer analytics to improve targeting.
Most of these tactics involve some repackaging of the content and marketing assets that retailers already have, which is much less resource-intensive than launching and promoting a fully-fledged e-commerce business. Shoppers already have all the reasons to visit their favorite stores. Now it’s time to give them all the reasons to buy.
Looking to dive deeper into ways to fight showrooming? Download our whitepaper titled “The Showrooming Effect: How Retailers Can Use QR Codes to Create Opportunity”.
For expert advice or questions on QR Codes and mobile engagement opportunities consider reaching out:
- Visit ScanLife.com
- Join LinkedIn Group “Exchanging Smarter Ideas on Mobile Engagement”
- Or, simply contact us at email@example.com
This week, Google, released research on mobile searches and the ensuing consumer behavior.
For marketers seeking to tap into the potential of the mobile channel, this report (available here) has the merit of highlighting key paradigms underlying successful mobile engagement, namely:
Without further ado, here’s what you need to remember about the research.
What people search for
The chart below shows the categories of information respondents are most likely to search – entertainment, news, and shopping-related items top the charts.
The context of the mobile search
Overall, 81% of mobile searches are driven by speed and convenience. As a result, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, despite the fact that respondents had access to a desktop computer. This should come as no surprise, as mobile devices tend to be always on and within reach -no need to boot a computer.
The chart below gives a more detailed picture of how mobile search contexts depend on what is being searched for by the consumer.
This is where mobile shines, leaving any other communication channel in the dust:
Other statistics that are of interest are shown in the table below:
The mobile channel gives marketers plenty of new opportunities to connect with and convert their audience, while accumulating deeper consumer insights in real-time. And those looking for inspiration will find plenty of noteworthy examples and best practices on our blog (try here and here to begin with). Now it’s time to execute.
For expert advice or questions on QR Codes and mobile engagement opportunities consider reaching out:
- Visit ScanLife.com
- Join LinkedIn Group “Exchanging Smarter Ideas on Mobile Engagement”
- Or, simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
QR Code trends continue to gain momentum as smartphone owners grow across the globe, and smart marketers turn to engage marketing to reach mobile consumers. Released last month, eMarketer’s latest statistics showcase that on average, 19% of US respondents (1 in 5) have scanned a QR Code ahead of the 15% average in Europe. Interestingly, across both regions research continues to support print is the primary media placement for QR Code engagement. Another indication of printing trend research (released by Nellymoser) reported that response rates are higher with QR Codes than direct mail.
Putting the numbers into perspective
Comparing these statistics with other marketing innovations that have come out of the recent years allows us to appreciate the implications of these studies: the table below shows the consumer adoption of Twitter in the US, as measured by eMarketer. In 2012, this amounted to 11.5% of the adult population and 14.4% of internet users.
But wait, it gets better. In 2012 research by Accenture on the effectiveness of consumer engagement triggers concluded that among 1,000 television viewers, 28% had interacted with a QR Code, vs. 18% with a Twitter hashtag. Similarly, during the 2012 London Olympics, we found that the proportion of individuals interacting with QR Codes was 36% higher than with Foursquare. Last but not least, our own research shows that the average engagement post scan to click was 62%.
Like social media in the early days, marketers who learn to harness the power of mobile engagement will have a significant head start in the market place -whether it’s QR Codes today, or combined with NFC or augmented reality tomorrow.
For expert advice on how to integrate mobile engagement tactics to your marketing campaigns, contact us or visit www.scanlife.com
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In the long list of industries transformed by the slow but steady digitization of our societies, retail probably tops the charts. And now the mobile channel promises to complicate matters further.
eMarketer’s latest mobile commerce projections (Jan 2013) gives us an idea of the volume of sales achieved directly through mobile devices.
This time though, I believe things are different. Most of today’s senior marketers and retail business leaders have seen how the online channel has gradually eaten both their sales and margins; and they’re not going to let it happen again… In fact, retail marketers could be credited with some of the boldest experiments to date: my previous article shows great examples of how the most resourceful marketers can extend considerably their reach through the online channel.
A couple of interesting case studies have since hit the headlines.
The first comes from Seattle-based retailer Hointer, which targets men who don’t like shopping and use technology to eliminate the hassle of shopping for clothes. The idea consists of displaying only one pair of each model of jean type, and add a QR Code to it. When scanned with the store’s bespoke app, shoppers can chose to try it in the fitting room inside the store. Once the jeans have been tried, customers can either send the jeans back or purchase it on the spot.
The GeekWire video below shows the system in action
Another case study, this time by Procter & Gamble shows how simple tweaks to their print ads can boost significantly their power to convert customers on the spot. This experiment applies to any retailer that has, or will use catalogues, flyers, and other below-the-line collaterals to push their latest promotions. The screenshots below shows how P&G connected their ads to a mobile space where shoppers would find out more about the P&G products, get coupons, watch demos, check out customer reviews, and crucially, purchase the product! (Click on the image for a close-up)
Research by Hitashi shows that the number of people who scan QR codes would be three times as much what it currently is if consumers believed that it would offer them value in the form of discounts, rewards or a more personalized service. Hointer’s and P&G have shown that delivering relevant and personalized experiences to consumers does not take rocket sciencewith a reasonable dose of consumer insights and the will to reach out to them in meaningful ways.
What’s more, these experiments show that the mobile channel can enhance traditional campaigns and open up a new sales channel. Other retailers should pay heed.
For expert advice on how to integrate mobile engagement tactics to your retail marketing campaigns, contact us please visit www.scanlife.com
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So you’ve secured your marketing budget for 2013 and now want to connect with your customers via mobile. Since all research indicates that the majority of them have a smartphone, you know it’s the right move.
Now “all” you need are original ideas. Fear not my friend, as you’ve come to the right place. What follows is a recap of some of the best and quirkiest mobile barcode campaigns, as well as tips and tricks to help maximize your results.
Best 2012 QR Code campaigns
For a review of the best campaigns of last year, we invite you to check the following blog posts:
So now that you’re feeling inspired, it’s always good to pause and consider best practices. After all, one of the advantages of mobile campaigns and QR Codes in particular is that you will be able to measure the results; so you may as well maximize them:
Do’s and Don’ts
In two excellent blog posts, David Moth, from eConsultancy, looks at several QR Code campaigns and dissects their strengths and weaknesses. The first post looks at six campaigns from well-known brands such as Lacoste, Toyota, Police, HMV, Helly Hansen, and Go Entertain. In a second blog post, he analyzes a Toyota campaign, by far the best of the lot. These are a must read for any marketer who aspires to create bold and exciting mobile barcode campaigns. While the author does a great job at analysing the execution of the campaigns, it is important to emphasize the fact that mobile engagement differs from traditional digital marketing in several meaningful ways:
Having established the framework for mobile engagement, here are the 8 commandments of successful QR Code campaigns:
1. Make sure it fits within your business and marketing strategy. It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how often it seems that a QR Code was slapped on a print material as an afterthought, in a “because I can” sort of way. Don’t waste such an opportunity. Create a new sales channel. Enhance your CRM efforts. Connect with your consumers. Get deeper consumer insights. In summary – execute with a clear purpose in mind.
2. Guarantee your campaign creates real value for your audience. Ask yourself: what value am I bringing to them? Are you sending them to your e-commerce website? Or are you giving them exclusive information or special deals? Are you asking them for their opinion and feedback? Is it content that will motivate them to scan again in the future? If you can’t think of a compelling reason for them to scan, then it’s probably not worth it.
3. Link to a mobile optimized site. If you’re still hesitant on the possibility of linking to your non-mobile-optimized website, then these results from Google will almost certainly make your mind up for you: On the one hand, 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly. On the other, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return to a mobile friendly site, and 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service. Do we need to say more?
4. Make a clear call-to-action (CTA). It is crucial that you give information on why it’s worth scanning your QR Code and possibly brief instructions on how to download a QR Code reader. Also, make sure you place CTAwhere they can be seen. If a user sees a QR Code just floating around without any indication on why they should scan, they are highly less likely do so. A compelling CTA can double or triple your scanning and conversion rates.
5. Think about the QR Code placement. Before you place the code on the back of a racing car or on a TV commercial, ask yourself: will people notice it? Can they safely, and comfortably, scan the QR Code? Do they have enough time to scan the QR Code? Will they have a data connection? Remember: mobile engagement is contextual. Turn this into your advantage, not the contrary.
6. Size does matter: The smaller the QR Code, the more difficult it will be to scan it, plus the closer the user will have to be to the code. If you use the ScanLife QR Code generator, you can safely print codes which are 0.75 inch (1.9 cm) large. Moreover, the scan distance to QR Code size will be roughly 7:1 (in other words, a 1 inch code can be scanned from a 7 inch distance).
With other QR Code generators, we recommend you set the minimum to 1 inch (2.4 cm) and keep the scan distance to QR Code size ratio to 10:1.
7. Test your codes. Realizing that the QR Code you printed on all your collateral isn’t working can be a soul crushing experience. We have seen countless examples of embarrassing – and often very expensive – mistakes: a typo in the URL, a QR Code printed on a shiny curved package, making the code too dense etc. At ScanLife, we’ve almost completely eliminated these problems because customers can edit the QR Code content , or the action it triggers at any time, and as often as desired. In addition, our engineers are continuously testing to ensure that ScanLife codes work on all the millions of devices and apps available around the globe. But this is not necessarily the case with other QR Code generators. Whatever the circumstances and QR Code generator you use, test the codes with different apps, different devices, from different angles and distances. Don’t become the butt of a joke.
8. Track the results of your campaign. QR Codes are one of the easiest and most practical ways to measure the impact of your campaign and acquire rich consumer insights. Top tier mobile engagement platforms such as ScanLife, will help you understand who scans, how often, when, where, what happens after the scan, and more. Marketers get a proxy for the ROI of their print advertisement, identify which billboard ad works and which do not, etc. In fact, performance tracking and consumer insights data is one of, if not, the greatest values that modern mobile engagement platforms bring. Don’t miss out.
For expert advice on mobile engagement…
As 2012 comes to a close, it’s always good to take a step back to reflect on the evolution of everything over the past year. 12 months are an eternity in the mobile space and 2012 has been particularly full of innovations and remarkable events. Here are some of the year’s highlights:
SUMMER 2012 OLYMPICS –THE FIRST MOBILE GAMES EVER
The London Olympics have been to Mobile Engagement what Woodstock has been to Rock ‘n Roll: the moment where Mobile Engagement officially joined the mainstream by becoming the focal point of social, m-commerce, location-based experiences, and apps. The ScanLife Mobile Engagement Platform helped bring all of these experiences to life, generating 36% more connections than Foursquare check-ins during the games, according to published LOCOG numbers. Check out the Olympics video and case study to see it all in action: Olympics webpage to download the case study!
APPLE LAUNCHES THE IPHONE 5 WITH PASSBOOK
After months of speculation, Apple finally released its 4G-enabled iPhone 5. Of all its new features, the one we are most thrilled about is Passbook. The proto-wallet stores boarding passes, loyalty cards, coupons, event tickets etc. to display the information in the form of a mobile barcode (QR Code, PDF-417, and Aztec) to be used in a store, concert venue or wherever appropriate. It’s a big first step towards enabling m-commerce, m-payments, and m-identity, and more. This approach exposes mobile barcodes to millions of people around the world and is among the best things that could happen for the mobile barcode industry. Thank you Apple!
NEW APP. NEW FUN.
2012 will be known as the year when scanning mobile barcodes became fun. The ScanLife app now includes new social features: users can like what they’ve scanned and share their favourites with their networks – a great way to create gift wish lists. Users can also create an electronic contact card in the form of a QR Code right from the app: enter your details et voila! You can share your contact details in one scan with the “QRcard” feature. The app is now sexier too: iOS users can choose over 20 themes. Dreaming of the beach? We have a cool summer theme – palm trees included. If you’re more of a sports nut we have an entire pack dedicated to baseball, basketball, football, and more. On the other hand, Android users are enjoying a whole new user interface with The Hub. The Hub is the first thing you see when you open the app, and it gives you easy access to everything in ScanLife – your history of scans, live scan activity from around the world, the ability to customize your scanner screen from Settings, and of course the scanner itself from a super cool animated iris. All of these new features are just the beginning in a major evolution to make it easier than ever for users to discover and share information.
Intrigued? Try it out yourself:
THE MAJORITY OF MOBILE USERS OWN A SMARTPHONE. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?
2012 marks the first time when the majority of mobile users possess a smartphone in the USA and Europe. This fact has profound implications for businesses: smartphones now serve as the most common starting point for our digital lives across devices with nearly 100% of smartphone owners using their device to go online every day, 85% of smartphone owners seeking local information and 1 in 5 make a purchase after finding that information. As a result, mobile is evolving into a channel in its own right. The table below shows the most popular mobile tactics businesses use to engage their customers, according to research by eConsultancy.
Several factors explain the prominence of QR Codes as a mobile channel. For one, they’ve become a highly effective medium when executed properly. Research by Nellymoser shows that average response rate is 6.4%, versus only 4.4% for Direct Mail and the 4.3% for catalogs, according the Direct Marketing Association. Indeed, as our own trend report shows, 2D barcode scanning increased 71% during 2012.
THE RISE OF MOBILE-SAVVY RETAILERS… AND CONSUMERS
Retail is perhaps the domain where Mobile Engagement has had the greatest impact. Research by eConsultancy shows that the number of consumers who have made a purchase on mobile since 2011 have more than doubled, from 12% to 28% in the US and 13% to 25% and in the UK. For retailers and brands, this trend brings unprecedented opportunity to connect with shoppers. For example, Tesco, which pioneered the concept of virtual store during 2011, extended its virtual stores in Q1. As a result, their app is now the number one shopping app in Korea, with nearly one million downloads since it was launched last April. The most impressive of all is Chinese retailer Yihaodian, which opened 1,000 virtual stores located in iconic areas of Shanghai, Bejing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The video below shows what a virtual store looks like.
The ubiquity of mobile has also caused the “showrooming” effect, which is the tendency consumers have to go to a brick and mortar store to do for merely research and then purchase the goods online. In fact, in the UK, 43% of respondents said they had used their mobile to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping (up from 19% in 2011). Among US consumers, the number has increased from 20% to 50% year over year. Our whitepaper, “The Showrooming Effect. How Retailers can use QR Codes to Create Opportunity”, outlines several ways to tackle this obstacle.
SCANLIFE UNLEASHES A SMARTER MOBILE ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM
To help brands create more relevant mobile experiences, the ScanLife team worked around the clock to launch dynamic new features:
1 – Mobile Landing Pages with Analytics
To aid our customers in understanding post-scan behaviors, we’ve added another valuable piece of business intelligence to the ScanLife platform: any ScanLife business customer that creates mobile landing pages from our platform can now view click-tracking data generated from those pages. Learn what this means for your business now.
2 – Language Detection
We already have codes that change dynamically based on the operating system or number of scans. Now we are thrilled to announce our latest innovation which uses language detection to deliver content that is unique to the language of the user’s device. Find out how it can be used here.
3 – Designer Codes
In April, ScanLife released custom design functionality, where marketers can create a custom design code, with their logo embedded, in seconds. But wait, it gets better: our QRcheck™ technology automatically verifies the readability of the code. If it doesn’t meet a certain level of readability, it will automatically warn the creator. Discover more now.
AND THE WINNER IS…
December was another fun month here at ScanLife! Our highlight was been winning the Business award for Mashable’s Innovation Index for 2012. We’re completely honoured and humbled to be recognized among the prestigious group of leaders who are revolutionizing the digital and social landscape around us. You can check out Mashable’s formal announcement here. This award is especially meaningful for our entire team at ScanLife, which is driven by the mission to create new and better ways to transform our lives through technology. We’re grateful to everyone who voted and appreciate your continued support of what we do here.
As we look to 2013, we are more energized than ever to develop new ideas, push the boundaries of possibility, and unlock tomorrow’s innovations.
We wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
In November 2012 Comscore announced that the US smartphone market had passed the 50% penetration threshold during Q3 2012. Moreover, over half of smartphone owners use their mobile browser and almost 40% of them use their phones to access a social networking site or blog.
Europe is on a similar trajectory: on Dec 17th 2012, Comscore announced that France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are now reporting a 55% smartphone penetration. The table below shows the breakdown per country.
These statistics won’t surprise any actor in the mobile space. The question is: is your business staying ahead of the curve and preparing itself to embrace a mobilized world?
Last week, we launched the all new ScanLife app, which allows our users to decide which QR & barcode scans they like they best. The tally of likes is visible to anyone at the top of the page after you scan a code.
So after 7 days, what do people like most? Without further ado, here’s an early peak at some of the insights:
Reasons to Like:
In Conclusion: With one week in, retailers and consumer brands are emerging as the big winners of mobile engagement (with a big help from Black Friday craziness).
Most importantly, all of the top content was MOBILE FORMATTED. Yes, people like it when they get content which loads quickly and is easy to engage with on their mobile device.
More surprises to come. Stay tuned!
For expert advice on QR Codes and mobile engagement, please visit www.scanlife.com or contact us at email@example.com or join the discussions on the “Exchanging Smarter Ideas on Mobile Engagement” LinkedIn group.
It’s no secret that marketers have been slow to adjust and re-balance their media mix to reflect the increasingly mobile-centric world. According to a report from IT services provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) marketers spend $1.59m per $1bn in revenue in Europe 2012 and $1.43m in North America. By 2015 this amount will increase to $1.76m in Europe and $1.98m in North America. This represents a year-on-year increase of 3.4% for Europe and 11.5% for North America, barely enough to keep up with the exponential adoption of smartphones.
In fact, marketers currently allocate less than 1% of their marketing budget to Mobile advertising. According to a study released by the MMA, titled “MXS: Mobile’s X% Solution” and conducted by marketing ROI specialist firm Marketing Evolution, the optimized level of spend in Mobile advertising for U.S. marketers is 7%, or about the same as the amount spent on online display and sponsorships in 2011.
The optimum share varies according to industry category, marketing goals and size of budget. For “high involvement” categories such as auto and finance, the proportion should skew a bit higher at 9%. Conversely, in “low involvement” categories like CPG and entertainment, the share would dip down to 5%. Campaigns aimed at building awareness would also have a smaller allocation for mobile (5%), while those geared toward boosting purchase intent and consideration would increase the share to 8%.
Are marketers missing an opportunity? So much focus is placed on media that delivers brand awareness, but what happens when that interest turns into consideration and your customer wants to take action? We believe that mobile is the perfect platform to convert that interest from physical media into real action via digital. Whether you want a Like or an email opt-in, or a purchase – mobile tactics like QR Codes can deliver big time!
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.