QR code idea

A friend at Mccann (Tino – hello if you are reading this) came up with a great idea that I am now repackaging and claiming as my own.

First the background…

Whilst I believe companies such as Blippar have the edge regarding mobile call to action interaction there could still be a future for the humble QR code. As companies such as John Lewis and Tesco in Korea (view the video above to see QR codes in action) have demonstrated there is certainly still innovation that surrounds this technology. And not forgetting you can also use them for ‘innovative’ PR campaigns such as BetFair did with its QR code url sponsorship of the Bromley Football Clubs haircuts and the British female beach volleyball team’s bikinis.

The idea

Why not use QR codes on shelf ticketing that allows consumers to find out more about the product directly from your website thus further developing/ complicating ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline)?

Consumers could obtain a more detailed technical spec, reviews, video of its features, price comparison assurance (if you’re competitive that is!), etc by a simple zap of your mobile phone. Consumers want this information regardless of whether you provide it or not hence why not allow easy access/ optimise the experience from your site?


Clearly there are problems e.g. QR code awareness rates, the fact you need a smartphone and QR reader, poor UK adoption, more complex ticketing requirements, network availability, the need for a mobile optimised site, possible ‘leakage’ to other retailers once the customer is online, etc, etc, etc however come on world; embrace the ugly QR code!

12th December 2011 update: Interesting that Argos are clearly reading my blog and are opening QR-code purchase pop-up stores in Paddington and Waterloo rail stations to promote its catalogue to Christmas shoppers!

The experiential campaign allows shoppers to point their smartphone at a gift they would like, scan the QR code and reserve the gift for pick up at a later date.

03rd January 2012 update: Interesting development of ‘snap tags’ that could actually replace QR codes – visit the DMA article for more information.  Here is a snap tag that the agency I currently work for is using on its business cards next week at CES. Snap Tag apps still seem quite rare but you can find one at – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/glamour-friends-fans/id448012264?mt=8

snap tag

Paul Morris note: If you have not already done so why not download a QR code reader from your mobile app store and test it by scanning the below image (it will take you to this very article)?

search muse qr code

23/ 08/ 12 Update: Tesco trials virtual shop at Gatwick.