How to establish a quick and effective contact with your customers
The pandemic has helped make QR codes more universal than ever, as the technology is perfect for letting consumers use their smartphone to browse a web page without touching anything. Simply point your phone’s camera at the QR code to reveal a menu, opening hours, special offers or even payment options.
The idea of QR codes (named for quick response codes) originated with a Japanese automotive company in 1994. The last time I wrote about them in this blog over a decade ago, a special app was needed to read the codes — but in 2017, according to tech writer Scott Stratten, Apple enabled iPhone cameras to recognize QR codes, spreading the technology more widely. The fact that smartphones are now almost universal has also helped to increase the use of QR codes.
How can sole traders make good use of QR codes? Start by thinking about your outdoor signage. The code can take passers-by directly to your website or to a landing page with your store’s opening hours. Posting a link to a special offer can serve as an incentive to attract potential customers.
Shoppers can quickly access more information about the merchandise on your shelves if you have a QR code displayed in your displays. Imagine, for example, being able to direct a customer to a page showing how prickly cards are made or how to use a new DIY tool. It won’t replace good customer service, but it’s a free way to provide additional information to encourage a purchase. Just make sure you don’t link to a page where customers can buy the item online from another business.
Advertising, especially in print, should almost always include a QR code leading to your website – or to a special landing page associated with that specific code. You can, for example, create a contest and have the QR code go directly to the contest or giveaway. Customers can still enter your URL to access your store site, but navigating to a special page may be more difficult without a QR code.
Large retailers use QR codes for inventory management because they can hold more information than barcodes. There are also ways to use QR codes for payment, including through PayPal. If you are interested in this option. click on this link. (Would have been a great opportunity to insert a QR code, wouldn’t it?)
How to generate a QR code? There is usually no cost to do so, which makes the technology accessible to everyone. Canva, the Australian online design platform I use all the time, can now create codes to add to business cards, signs and posters. Shopify also has a QR code generator for those who use their program. When generating a QR code, there are also options to include your logo, add performance tracking capability, or create a basic landing page. This Medium.com blog post will help you decide which generator is right for you.
As Monika Adarsh, author of the Medium article, notes, “With little to no upfront investment, QR codes provide a rich and dynamic customer experience.” If you haven’t tried them, now is the time!
For more thoughts and advice from Schroeder, read his article, “When Does Upselling Hurt More Than It Helps?” Find more blog posts from her in the Savvy Store Solutions tab.