I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the “Mobile Insider Summit”, a Scanbuy-sponsored event hosted by MediaPost. Having attended at least three or four times previously, I was prepared for a few quality days of discussing the many virtues of the mobile ecosystem. As expected, there was an impressive line-up of panels with speakers who each had relevant insights to share. However, what was most exciting to me was the common change of perception around QR Codes. Of course I have a vested interest in QR, as the VP of Sales for Scanbuy, but similar to the rise and fall and rise again of the internet, QR Codes are experiencing an unprecedented renaissance. Over the years most brands, retailers and marketers have dabbled with QR Codes –just to see what they could do, but over the last few quarters they’ve embraced the technology to achieve more ambitious mobile marketing goals.
The underlying theme of this year’s Summit was CUSTOMER FIRST, and we were treated to some great examples of success. Eric Weissberg, Executive Creative Director at JWT shared some terrific use cases including Macy’s use of QR within their red star logo. He said, “QR usually leads to crap on the back end”, but he believes they are very valuable if you use them properly. Gary Shechner, Advertising and Marketing Manager for BP’s Arco AM/PM convenient stores shared a similar thought on QR. In fact, he suggested QR has been very well received by his clients and has resulted in great success for his promotional campaigns. We heard similar stories from others including Melanie Allgood, Sr. Manager of Mobile for Autotrader, “consumers ability to scan a code on a car for information is the ultimate!”
Bon Mercado, Head of Mobile Solutions for Google kicked off and shared some incredible stats around mobile traffic to Google. Only five years ago they saw 1% of traffic via a mobile device, today 13%! This is overall traffic –which is amazing when you think of the billions of interactions Google sees daily. With more and more interactions being executed via mobile each day, the need for marketers to deliver more personalized and relevant content is now expected by consumers. When this mobile experience is done well, engagement increases, which in turn improves conversion–the Holy Grail.
At Scanbuy, we have spent the last few years in the market experiencing the “shiny object” effect to the “NFC will take over” effect. Now we are at a point where brands understand that there is a value and they are seeking the strategic advice to use QR Codes properly. We are seeing this everyday with the clients that we work with. Today, we have evolved our QR Code platform to a “Mobile Engagement Platform”, with the power to help our clients deliver personalized relevant content, regardless of the trigger (QR Codes, NFC, etc.) being used. Circling back to the theme of the conference, CUSTOMER FIRST, there is no better way to achieve this then by delivering what they want, when they want it, and where they want it. It was a great event and I look forward to attending it once again. The video below includes the presentation that I delivered at the Mobile Insider Summit.
Please send me an email at email@example.com if you’d like to discuss further. You can also watch a video of my presentation embedded below:
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
This year at Mobile World Congress, there was a sense that a new chapter was turned: smartphones penetration had shot past the 50% threshold and tablet penetration has reached 1 in 4 adults in the US. Android and iOS updates, which determine much of nowadays’ user experiences, were challenged by smaller but no less ambitious players, namely RIM, Windows, Ubuntu, and –surprise surprise – Mozilla, which managed to sign up 17 different operators to its Firefox OS. Moreover, countless companies introduced their mobile wallets and payments solutions, and NFC-powered e-ticketing systems. Tons of promising technologies, each with their strengths and drawbacks, as our CEO Mike Wehrs explains in this Mobile Marketer article.
Clearly, the mobile landscape has entered the mass consumption phase: for consumers this means that a world of choices is about to open up to them. For the 72,000 visitors who swarmed the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, it meant that the stakes were higher than ever.
For marketers however, this is a double-edged sword: on the one hand the majority of people now interact with, and can be reached through their mobile devices. On the other hand, when targeting their audience, they will have to factor in the increasing diversity of behaviours and touch points, underpinned by the multiplication and ubiquity of these mobile technologies.
In some ways, this mobile technology boom is akin to the television boom of the early 2000s, when the multiplication cable TV channels, each focusing on a theme, meant that marketers could more easily identify and target specific segments. It also meant that they could no longer broadcast an advertisement confident that it would reach a wide audience.
Sure, many of the technologies on display at Mobile World Congress will take months, even years to take on; and many will disappear almost as instantly as they appeared on stage.
Regardless, mobile as a marketing channel has been propelled from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” grade.
The good news is that when it comes to execution, mobile engagement campaigns follow the same principles (i.e. call-to-action, context based and value-adding content, etc. For a detailed review of mobile engagement principles and best practices, click here) regardless of the technology. We therefore strongly believe that mobile engagement platforms which can process any digital triggers (QR Codes, NFC, images, etc.) allow marketers not to be distracted by continuous shifts in the technology landscape, while preparing them for tomorrow’s challenges.
For expert advice on how to integrate mobile engagement tactics to your marketing campaigns, contact us or visit www.scanlife.com
You may also…
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
You may also…
QR Codes are no longer news. But linking a physical item to digital content, such as a video or social media link, with a QR Code is only half the story. To maximize ROI of a mobile marketing campaign, businesses need to understand the whole customer journey from start to finish: where customers come from, how they interact with your content, and what happens next.
To help marketers solve this challenge, we recently added the click tracking feature to the ScanLife Mobile Engagement Platform. Why is this important? Now when creating a QR Code mobile landing page with ScanLife, you can measure who clicks on what links and understand how your audience interacts with your content after the scan.
Today, we are adding the scan source identifier to our premium codes. For the first time, you will have a greater insight into what happens to your digital content. Is it scanned and consumed immediately? Or do they save to History first and access at a later moment? Or did they click when your product appeared on the live feed?
Would you like to know more? Or maybe you have ideas for other new features? If so, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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!
To celebrate the busiest scanning season of the year, we are thrilled to bring you the Mobile Barcode Trend Report: Holiday Shopping Edition for 2012. This Edition illustrates the dramatic growth in scanning as compared to year prior. It also offers key insights into the who’s scanning and what is being scanned most.
The data collected spans the two weeks surrounding Black Friday – when scan rates accelerate the most.
Key takeaways include:
In addition, the dramatic rise in 2D barcodes compared to 1D clearly shows that marketers are looking for more control in their mobile strategies. Flexibility to customizing the barcode experience is now preferred by brands.
For the “Top 5 Most Liked QR Codes” stat, it is interesting to note that each of the brands offered consumers a mobile-optimized experience – one that provided real value, whether a discount, video teaser or buyer’s guide. This underlines the fact that consumers prefer mobile sites over PC sites when scanning barcodes. It also reinforces that consumers want significance in what they scan.
Click the image below to magnify the report. You may also download a printable version by clicking here.
*Let us know how barcode scanning helped you this holiday season…we’ll share your posts via Facebook*
As smartphone adoption skyrockets, so do the studies documenting its impact on shopper behavior.
Among the latest additions is research by Deloitte which shows that “smartphones currently influence 5.1% of annual retail store sales, translating to $159 billion in forecasted sales for 2012 […] This total is expected to grow to 19%, or $689 billion in brick-and-mortar transactions by 2016. […] Consumers who use a mobile phone while they are shopping are 14% more likely to make an in-store purchase than those who do not use the device.”
The sheer scale and irreversibility of this phenomenon has left retailers with no choice but to embrace it. Indeed, several experiments show how the most resourceful can reap great benefits. They tend to fall into two categories:
I. Improving the shopping experience
This category consists of improving the in-store shopping experience. A good example is Starbucks, which placed QR Codes throughout its stores to promote the new Verismo coffee maker. Consumers who scan the code can learn about the product, see what others have to say and even buy it then and there (with free shipping as an added incentive). They can also search for other Starbucks items to purchase, sign up for the company’s newsletter, connect with the brand via social media and receive a 10% coupon off of their next order.
Another example is Sainsbury’s Scan & Go proposition. Users can shop with their smartphones and pay at the the counter without unloading their bags. Though still in trial mode, a few select shoppers can download the app and register using their loyalty card. While in store, they need to scan the ‘Check In’ QR Code at the location and then use the phone’s camera to scan barcodes on products as they shop. As items are added, a running total shows how much the customer is spending and any possible savings along the way. Customers then scan the ‘Check Out’ QR Code at the counter and pay as usual with cash or card.
II. Extending the retail environment
The idea is to use mobile technologies to extend the retail environment beyond shopping hours or the physical boundaries of your brick-and-mortar retail stores, and to do so without the incurring costs that typically go along with it.
The ‘Eat What You Read’ campaign by the Advertising Agency Grey Group in Hong Kong illustrates this concept: edible QR Code cookies were given away for free to consumers in popular cafes. When scanned, they offered smartphone owners the opportunity to download a free trial e-book. According to the agency, 8,000 QR Code cookies were distributed in one week. The campaign, which cost approx. $5,000, resulted in increased visits to the client’s website by 45% and sales by 12%.
An experiment led by Paypal also nicely demonstrates this idea: a QR Code is stuck to the store front window and passers-by can scan the items on display, select the desired color/size and buy it with PayPal in just one click.
Virtual stores take it even further. Tesco in South Korea kicked off this model during the summer of 2011, and has since been enthusiastically adopted by many retailers, some of which we covered today and others here in former blogs. Although retailers have been secretive about the results of these campaigns, the increase of virtual stores show no signs of slowing down.
However, perhaps 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. They also strategically placed the stores directly in front of Yihaodian’s offline competitor brick-and-mortar supermarket stores.
For expert advice or questions on QR Codes and mobile engagement opportunities consider reaching out:
- Visit ScanLife.com
- Attend Webinar: A Practical Guide to Mobile Engagement with QR Codes
- Join LinkedIn Group “Exchanging Smarter Ideas on Mobile Engagement”
- Or, simply contact us at email@example.com
At ScanLife, we are constantly developing new ways to personalize the mobile experience and make it as relevant as possible for the person scanning a QR Code. We already have codes that change dynamically based on the operating system or the number of scans on a code, and now we are thrilled to announce our latest innovation which uses language detection.
Watch the video below to see it in action:
This dynamic QR Code action detects the language setting of the user’s device to deliver content that is unique to that language. There are two obvious scenarios for this kind of technology:
Now ScanLife offers a simple way to connect to a diverse customer base with no additional programming:
If you’d like to learn more about Language Detection or to discuss other ways for smarter mobile engagement, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games officially wrapped up, and ScanLife was thrilled to be a part of this global event. These Olympics marked the first time that mobile truly became part of the games in every way – social, commerce, location awareness, apps – and the ScanLife platform helped bring all of these experiences to life.
The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) used ScanLife to deploy over 50 QR Codes on Game-related signage, physical publications, e-tickets, and more. ScanLife’s platform has been developed over the past five years to handle potential capacity of 8 million scans a day, and we already handle traffic from over 150 countries.
LOCOG saw 15 million Olympic app downloads and created a social network of over 5 million from around the globe. By using the ScanLife platform, they were able to see how people were engaging with their mobile content in real time with data like location, demographics, OS, country of scans, and top codes.
Heat map showing where traffic developed around the Olympic Stadium:
QR Codes delivered an easy and valuable way for visitors to view more information, get more social, and make purchases from virtually anything. In fact, ScanLife generated 36% more connections than Foursquare check-ins during the games, according to published LOCOG numbers.
Check out the video below to see it all in action:
If you like what you see and want to get more charts, stats, and images, go to our Olympics webpage to download the case study!
The all new ScanLife 4.3 is now available for iOS which gives you over 20 themes to make your barcode scanner cooler, prettier, and more personalized than ever. We added everything you would want to fit your style.
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, american and non-american football, and more. Or if you are just a nature lover, we have some nice soothing images of daisies and stylized butterflies!
Some of the theme packs will run you 99 cents for a set of 5 or 6 which you can buy with your iTunes account. But, we have plenty of new free themes as well including one of our faves called Vibration (featured below in blue).
Let us know if you have any great ideas for new themes in the future, and maybe we will include them in an upcoming release.
Get the latest version from the app store now and please leave us a 5-star awesome review!
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.