Meet the Pandemic Comeback Kid: the QR Code
The boxy bar codes have been around since the 1990s but are now appearing everywhere. How do they work? A person simply scans the printed code with a smart phone, is taken to a website, menu, coupon, or other piece of digital information. The instantaneous call-to-action code is both versatile and easy-to-use.
Now, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are required to offer social distancing and contactless shopping and dining experiences. QR Codes can finally shine in a big way.
“As the world slowly opens its doors, people are finding themselves maneuvering a phantom menace while armed and armored with sanitizers, gloves and masks. However, the ‘new normal’ is now expanding from work-from-home and Zoom calls, to reviving economies and industries that have been hibernating for months…This solution isn’t new or revolutionary in its application, but it’s an extremely viable solution that solves an extremely pressing issue businesses are reckoning with as they reopen their doors,” (thestartupscene.me).
Say “Hello” to Our Little Square Friend
Beyond operational use such as cashless payment or ticketing, the QR Code delivers a customizable, hands-free way for marketers to easily share and gather information with customers.
- safety/sanitation – touchless assets
- attractive to younger audiences
- provides useful metrics
- lead generation/form collection
- link to social media
- Internet access required
- less attractive to older audiences
- potential scammers/hacks
- increased smart phone use (if you’re looking to limit your daily usage)
While there are a few risks and drawbacks to the QR-Code method, marketers should consider what works best for the success of their brand. Even in a post-pandemic world, the trend to move towards touchless, digital communication and operations will continue, and the QR Code will remain a key player.
“A potential game changer came last month, when PayPal rolled out a new feature in its mobile app that lets you pay at restaurants, shops, farmers’ markets or anywhere else simply by scanning a QR code with your smartphone camera. PayPal makes it easier for small merchants to offer touchless payments without needing to purchase any new equipment, so it’s bound to become a bigger player in everyday shopping,” (Forbes.com).
Who Should Incorporate QR Codes Into Their Marketing?
Businesses both large and small have the unique opportunity to maximize customer and employee safety, while gathering important metrics. With QR-Code data, marketers gain access to valuable lead generation like email addresses, customer behaviors and opinions. A few of those capitalizing on this trend:
- Convenience Stores
- Airlines/Transportation Centers
- Hotels and Hospitality Industry
- Doctor’s Offices
- Retail Stores and Malls
- Theme Parks
- Sports Arenas
- Movie Theaters
- Farmers’ Markets
- …and more!
Restaurants have seen a significant shift towards touchless marketing. From cashless payment systems to menus, Freestyle Coke machines, nutritional information, coupons, take-out information and even coasters and napkins, your smart phone may have to join the dinner table. It allows customers the comfort of enjoying their favorite dining establishments, with an extra touch of branded safety.
In an article on RestaurantBusiness.com, one marketing expert has seen “…a spike in requests from customers concerning how to integrate QR codes into marketing efforts. ‘One of the benefits of a restaurant is that there are so many printed materials such as cups, napkins and menus. It turns anything into a value-add.’”
Retailers can benefit not only from the safety of touchless marketing, but also the instant brand storytelling printed directly onto packaging. When looking to stand out from competition, providing unique sales and value-adds through touchless marketing can make an impact.
“QR codes have become a crucial tool in the latest retail trend of ultra-customized shopping. Consumers are already comparing prices, looking up reviews, and researching ingredients before they purchase. With QR codes, marketers can help guide the customer journey by placing the codes directly on product packaging or merchandising displays,” (Medium.com).
Vivid Impact offers printed touchless marketing assets, as well as digital asset creation for any business need. Contact a team member today to get started!