QR Codes – Subway shopping, just one thing they are good for!

QR Codes – good for something, then!

In an earlier post, entitled QR Codes: What good are they?, I listed a number of ways that businesses could utilise QR codes to help generate interest, leads and eventually, sales.

WebMedia Facebook QR code

For those who were maybe unsure of what they were, I used the example of supermarket checkouts to give an elementary explanation, where bar-coded products are scanned through, either by an operator, or more often now in self-service mode, through non-manned scanning stations.

Each time a product is passed over the scanner the price is added to your bill, stock is reduced and considerably more information about you and your shopping habits collected and stored. But that’s enough about my paranoia for now!

The scanner reads all the information from the barcode printed on the packaging. QR codes can do all of that and more!

QR Codes, so what’s new?

It is one of these supermarket chains, Tesco, that has introduced a way of using them by understanding their target market’s like, dislikes and behaviour and using QR codes in an innovative way to address that particular market’s preferences.

Tesco is Tesco here in the UK, and in a number of other countries throughout the world, but in South Korea they are known as Home plus where they are no2 in their market.

Knowing your market makes the difference

Knowing and researching your market is of primary importance and that may be the reason for the change of name but it is also the basis of their introduction and innovative use of QR codes.

Their research showed that not only are the South Koreans very hard working, they are just too busy and have no time for and appear to hate the weekly grocery shop.

How then do you get them into your stores? South Korea is also one of the most mobile-connected countries in the world!

So, the solution was to take your store to where they have more time and that is waiting for their train in the subway. The video below shows just how they did that:-

Virtual store displays were placed on the walls of subway stations exactly as they would be seen if you were instore.

Each product image has a QR code embedded which when scanned with a mobile-enabled QR code app (most mobile devices have one installed as default) it would add the product to your virtual shopping basket.

Success of QR codes virtual shopping in South KoreaAfter checkout your groceries are delivered to you when you get home.

It seems to have been a success as the metrics speak for themselves – the video shows that new sign-ups for online shopping increased by 76 percent with actual sales up by 130 percent.

Are the rest of us as busy as the South Koreans for it to catch on here too? What do you think?

Leave your comments below.

About Rob Willox

Inbound Marketing and SEO professional working and living in Scotland. Owner of Search Marketing company, WebMedia Inbound Marketing dedicated to helping small businesses get more from the internet and improve their profitability.
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