Exploring the potential of QR codes in retail: You need to know about opportunities

Ilaha Mammadova

Jun 25, 2024

10 min read

QR codes in Retail

When people are already shopping, their selection process typically takes just a few seconds. So, customers decide what they will buy and try to expedite the entire procurement process, from selection to payment, as much as possible. This is why businesses are increasingly digitizing their processes to make it easier for people.


One such technology that has gained popularity recently is the QR code. QR codes facilitate all purchase processes, allowing customers to access product information quickly and even make payments within seconds. As the name suggests, QR codes are "Quick Response," offering swift solutions to all your purchase and sales process queries.

Let's explore QR codes and their benefits to the retail sector!

Why are QR codes used in retail?

You may wonder whether QR codes have any downsides, but the truth is, it's hard to find a compelling reason why they shouldn't be used in the retail sector. Wherever these QR codes are used, they bring joy to people! Let's explore why QR codes are used and what their uses are in the retail sector!

  • Online shopping: Imagine you have an e-commerce site where you sell your products online and in your physical store. However, your customers may not know your online presence yet, and you're looking for ways to sell online and drive traffic to your website. You create an attractive QR code and display it in your store to achieve this. Customers can scan the code using their smartphones and instantly access your website. By using a Website QR code to connect your physical store to your e-commerce site, you can expand your customer reach and create a seamless in-store and online shopping experience for your customers.
  • Call or email: If you want to streamline communication with your customers and make it easier for them to contact you at any time, consider placing your phone number or email address within a QR code. By scanning the code in the store, customers can quickly access your contact information and contact you at their convenience. This approach offers a simple and efficient way to improve customer communication and enhance their overall experience.
  • Feedback: Collecting customer feedback after a sale is a valuable way to boost future sales. By understanding how satisfied people are with the products you sell or how much they appreciate your new offerings, you can gain valuable insights that will benefit your business in countless ways. One effective way to streamline this feedback process for customers is by incorporating Feedback QR codes. With a simple scan, customers can easily access a feedback form and quickly provide their thoughts and opinions in seconds.
  • Location: For new customers, finding your store can often be a challenge. However, by strategically placing Location QR codes in familiar places, you can make locating your address a breeze. With a simple scan, customers can easily access a Google Map or Waze that will guide them directly to your store.
  • Social media: Social media is a powerful tool for boosting brand awareness and increasing sales. However, it can be difficult for customers to track all the social media accounts a business might have. That's where Social Media QR codes come in - by including a single code in a visible location, customers can easily access your social media accounts with just one scan.
  • App: If you have an app and want to increase downloads, consider using App QR codes. By scanning the code, users can quickly navigate to the Google Play Store or App Store and download the app within seconds.
  • Business Card: When customers shop at your store, you can provide them with a business card that includes your personal contact information and details about your store. By printing a vCard QR code on the card, you can also embed additional information within the code for users to access.
  • Payment: If customers wait in long lines, providing a QR code in stores is the best solution for a seamless payment experience. Scanning the code completes the payment process in seconds, saving your customers time and hassle.
  • PDF Catalog: Whether you have a wide range of products to showcase or a unique collection to promote, you no longer need to print catalogs. Instead, you can simply create a PDF file and embed it within a PDF QR code. Customers can scan the code with their phones and easily access a wide selection of products from your collection in just one scan.
  • Video: Think about the type of video you want to create. It could showcase your product's use or tell your brand's story. You can easily share it with people by providing them with a Video QR code. Once they scan the code, they can watch your video without hassle.
  • Counterfeit products: The proliferation of counterfeit products has become a growing concern, making it increasingly difficult for consumers to choose authentic goods confidently. QR codes can serve as an effective solution to combat this issue. Each product can be assigned a unique QR code, which can be scanned to verify its authenticity, helping consumers identify and avoid fake products.
  • WiFi: Providing free WiFi in your store can also be a critical factor in boosting customer satisfaction and sales. By displaying a WiFi QR code in a prominent location within your store, customers can easily connect to your WiFi network with just one scan. This offers a convenient and seamless experience for your customers, making them more likely to stay in your store longer and potentially make additional purchases.
  • Product information: When providing general information about your products, there's no need for lengthy descriptions. Instead, a simple QR code can provide easy access to all the information your customers need. From ingredient lists to usage instructions, a QR code can link directly to a PDF or video that instantly provides more detailed information about the product.
  • Retail Merchandising: QR codes can also be a valuable tool for tracking retailers' inventory. By placing a unique QR code on each product and relevant information such as serial numbers or product information, retailers can easily monitor and manage their inventory.

qr-code-creator

Boost Retail Efficiency with QR Codes!

QR codes streamline the retail shopping experience by providing instant access to product information and facilitating payments. Embrace the technology to boost efficiency and customer satisfaction in your store.

What problems solve QR codes in retail business?

Attention all those in the retail sector: it's time to buckle down and closely follow our blog! We're about to dive into the super-duper problem-solving skills of the QR code! Get ready to learn something new and exciting!

  • Cost-effective: QR codes eliminate the need for hundreds or even thousands of printed materials! You can pack as much data as you want into a minor code, saving you significant money on printing costs.
  • High versatility: QR codes' versatility allows you to deliver videos, photos, PDFs, and other materials in any way you choose. You're not limited to just one option; it depends on your needs and preferences. Embrace the freedom that QR codes offer and say goodbye to the restrictions of traditional marketing methods!
  • Easiness: Applying QR codes for your business and customers is incredibly simple - just scan the code once, and you're good to go! QR codes eliminate the need for lengthy processes and simplify things for everyone involved.
  • Measurable: QR codes provide measurable results, allowing you to collect as much data as possible. This data includes information such as the number of times the QR code was scanned, where it was scanned, and what device was used to scan it. This frees you from the need for other tracking tools and provides valuable insights into your marketing efforts' effectiveness.
  • Appealing design: Do you think using QR codes could disrupt visibility where you want to place them? That's not the case. When creating a QR code, you can choose the desired style, which allows you to avoid compromising your brand's aesthetics.
  • Editable: Furthermore, the QR code is editable, meaning that if you need to change the information displayed, you can easily update it on the dashboard. This allows you to quickly scan the updated information in just a few seconds without creating a new QR code every time.

7 ways how to use QR codes in shopping: Effective retail strategies

Consider you've prepared some QR codes and are ready to display them to customers, but you're wondering where the best place is to do so to get their attention quickly. Let's take a closer look and explore some options!

  • Product packaging: Product design plays a significant role in influencing consumer purchasing decisions. By incorporating a well-designed retail QR code onto the product packaging that complements the overall product design, it's more likely to capture people's attention and encourage them to scan it for additional details. This could potentially lead to increased customer engagement and interest in the product.
  • Storefront: If you have created an impactful sales campaign, promoting it directly in front of your store with an engaging CTA can be highly beneficial. One example is inviting customers to scan a code to receive a discount and then allowing them to enter and claim the discount by scanning the code in front of the store. This method is considered one of the most effective ways to increase sales.
  • In-store: Once inside the store, people tend to keep a watchful eye on their surroundings. One effective way to capture their attention is to display a well-designed poster or to showcase a QR code on the walls. This strategy can attract customers, and they can scan QR codes easily.
  • In products: Using QR codes on products is an important strategy to consider. This is because people see the product every time they use it, which can eventually lead to them scanning the QR code. Incorporating QR codes on products can be an effective way to increase customer engagement and drive sales.
  • On label: Many people are particularly interested in reading the information provided on product labels as it often contain essential details about the product. Placing QR codes on the label can be a practical choice to deliver them more quickly. This can make it more convenient for customers to scan the QR code and access additional information or promotional offers related to the product.
  • Product tag: When clothes are sold, people often look at the tag to check prices, making it an important area for businesses to consider. By placing a QR code on the product tag, customers will likely notice it while checking prices, making it an effective way to encourage them to scan and access additional information or promotional offers.
    QR code in product tag
  • Cash register area: When customers approach the cash register to make a purchase, they tend to look around the surrounding area, making it a valuable location for businesses to place promotional materials. One effective way to grab people's attention in this area is by placing QR codes in prominent locations around the cash register. This can be a quick and efficient way to encourage customers to scan the code and access additional information or promotional offers before finalizing their purchase.

What is the role of QR codes in retail marketing

The role of QR codes in the retail industry extends beyond their basic functionality. Let's explore how QR codes can be effectively used in marketing to boost sales and increase brand awareness.


Offers, discounts, campaignsQR codes for discount

One of the most popular uses of QR codes in marketing is offering discounts and coupons. Customers always look for deals and discounts; some even wait to purchase during promotional periods. QR codes can be used to create various user-friendly and effective campaigns.


By displaying Coupon QR codes in-store, customers can scan them and receive gifts or discounts based on their purchase history or shopping behavior. A compelling CTA can also be added to enhance the effectiveness of your campaign. QR codes can also be shared on social media accounts or websites, making it easy for customers to take advantage of the promotion with just one scan. Using retail QR codes in your marketing strategy can effectively engage customers and drive sales while increasing brand awareness.


Billboards, posters

Billboards, posters, stands, and other advertising tools can be incredibly effective if chosen carefully to ensure they're targeting the right audience in the correct location. QR codes can also be added to billboards, allowing you to display campaign-related or product information to potential customers. Utilizing these tools correctly can be one of the most effective ways to boost your sales.


Showrooming

Let's consider this matter from a slightly different perspective. Despite customers physically coming into stores to view products, many are still opting to search for and purchase the same product online, seeking a lower price. However, this challenge can be turned into an opportunity through QR codes.


By implementing various QR code campaigns within the store, customers can be incentivized to purchase from the store rather than seeking an online discount. Firstly, by providing a shortened product description through the QR code, customers can receive more detailed information about the product before purchasing. This approach helps customers to make informed decisions about buying a product they have seen with their own eyes instead of blindly purchasing it online. Secondly, exclusive in-store promotions can be offered through QR codes that are unavailable during online sales.


These promotions are designed to provide customers with additional benefits for buying from the store, such as discounts, gifts, or other incentives. When customers see these types of promotions, they are more likely to purchase and return to the store in the future. By utilizing QR codes to their fullest potential, stores can stand out from their competitors by offering unique campaigns exclusive to their brick-and-mortar locations. Ultimately, QR codes in retail make it easier for customers and businesses to conduct transactions and increase sales.


Loyalty

This is a great idea to enhance customer loyalty and appreciation. By offering special discounts to your valued and loyal customers, you can make them feel valued and appreciated. One way to do this is by providing customers with personalized QR codes to scan at checkout to receive their discount. This allows for a seamless and convenient shopping experience for the customer while encouraging them to continue shopping with your business.

Creative uses of QR codes in retail storesCreative uses of QR codes in retail stores

After implementing QR codes, if you think, "We love this QR code, but how else can we use it?" Let’s look at plenty of creative solutions to explore!


Similar offerings

One option is to utilize QR codes to offer customers similar products to what they're currently viewing. To implement this solution, simply include a QR code on the tag of each product in-store or the product page of your website during online shopping. When scanned, the code will take customers to a page featuring similar items, providing a convenient way to discover related products with just one scan. This method can directly impact sales, as customers may be more likely to purchase additional items with similar options.


Product review

Wouldn't it be great if a quick scan of a product's packaging, label, or tag could take you to a page displaying product reviews? Seeing positive feedback about a product can be a powerful motivator to try it. When customers see good reviews about something, they are often more inclined to purchase quickly. So, by using QR codes in product tags or packaging, customers will see reviews quickly and easily.


Stock information

Imagine you've stumbled upon a product you adore, but it's not reasonably available in the size or color you were hoping for. In the past, this could have meant spending minutes searching the store to find the perfect match. However, thanks to the convenience of modern technology, there's now a more straightforward solution. Scanning a QR code on the product’s tag lets you quickly and easily determine whether the desired size and color are available in-store. It is a great idea to place such QR codes to make processes easier for customers!


Recipes

Here's another different use of QR codes that can encourage people to purchase your food products. You can share a variety of delicious recipes on your product packaging or labels, which will pique the interest of potential customers. Once they scan the QR code, they can access the recipes and create mouth-watering meals with your products. This adds value to your product and enhances the customer experience and satisfaction.


Outfit ideas

Here's another brilliant idea for clothing stores! Let's say a customer loves a particular shirt or pair of trousers. They can simply scan the QR code on the product tag to see how they can create a stylish outfit with this. The QR code can provide various outfit ideas and styles that the customer can explore. After scanning and viewing the different outfit ideas, they can even discover other clothes in your store to complete their outfit. So, consider placing photos into QR codes that give ideas on product tags!


Virtual try on

Another digital innovation! Imagine a scenario where a customer wants to purchase a pair of glasses or other accessories but is unsure of how they will look on them. With a QR code, the customer can now virtually try on the product by scanning it! This innovative technology allows customers to quickly and easily see how the glasses or accessory will suit them, providing a perfect solution for both the customer and the seller. With just one QR code scan in stores, customers can satisfy their curiosity and make informed purchasing decisions.

Some examples of brands use QR codes in retail.

Many brands have found various uses for QR codes in stores, which are becoming increasingly popular. Let’s look at how brands used QR codes!

  • Walmart: One example of using QR codes in the retail industry is Walmart! As one of the largest retail stores, Walmart has implemented QR codes into their payment process since 2015, allowing customers to make payments through the Walmart app simply by scanning the QR code. Walmart has also created a virtual stand of toys on the street. Using QR codes directs passersby to the Walmart website's toy section when they scan the QR code on a virtual toy that catches their eye.
  • Target: Target is another major retailer that has embraced QR codes. It offers customers the option to make payments through its app simply by scanning the QR code. By doing so, customers can save a few percent on their purchases.
  • Zara: Zara is another brand that has incorporated QR codes into its products. They place QR codes on product tags, which direct customers to the product's manufacturing details. This allows customers to learn more about the products they are interested in purchasing quickly.
  • Decathlon: Decathlon is another brand that has implemented QR codes into its product tags. When customers scan the QR code on a product, they are directed to a page with detailed information about the product, enabling them to make more informed purchasing decisions.
  • Amazon: Amazon has created a virtual store using QR codes, which has a certain magical quality. Customers can scan the QR code when they arrive at the store and purchase the products they want from within before leaving. The cost of all products is then deducted from their Amazon account.
  • Tesco: Tesco has also implemented a novel use of QR codes. Customers can scan the QR codes of displayed products and virtually add them to their shopping baskets. These products are delivered directly to their addresses, providing a seamless and convenient shopping experience.
  • Lacoste: Lacoste carried out a unique sale during one of the sporting events, using QR codes displayed on the television. The QR code appeared on the screen at various intervals throughout the race, prompting viewers to scan and shop with a clear call to action.
  • Starbucks: Starbucks has also integrated QR codes into their mobile payments, allowing customers to collect stars and earn a free drink. This provides a rewarding experience for customers while simplifying the payment process.
  • Best Buy: Best Buy is another brand that accepts payments via QR codes, providing customers with a seamless and convenient shopping experience. Customers can make payments with a single scan without needing a payment card.
  • Macy’s: Macy's utilized QR codes to create a back-to-school shopping list, allowing students and parents to easily scan and access a list of necessary supplies for the upcoming semester.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Dunkin' Donuts is another brand that has embraced QR codes as a payment option. Customers can conveniently scan the QR code and pay for their coffee or dessert in seconds, making the transaction quick and seamless.

Once you read the entire blog, you will realize just how crucial QR codes are in the retail industry. The advantages of using QR codes extend beyond the initial sales process and can continue to benefit retailers even after a customer has purchased.

It is not uncommon for retailers to wonder why they did not embrace QR codes earlier once they realize how effective they are in improving customer engagement and the shopping experience. QR codes reach their full potential when used creatively and wisely!

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Content Manager

Ilaha Mammadova

As an experienced content manager, Ilaha specializes in crafting SEO-friendly content that blends creativity and strategy. With a passion for delivering high-quality, engaging content, Ilaha focuses on innovative ideas to help brands elevate their digital presence. Her dedication to excellence ensures that every piece ranks well and resonates with the target audience, making a lasting impact. In her free time, she enjoys singing a song and capturing moments through photography, adding an extra touch of creativity to everything she does.

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