How QR Codes Can Improve Your Shopping Experience

March 15th, 2011

Technology moves forward and with it, marketing departments find clever ways to use new technology to get more information to consumers, more quickly and more in depth. Of the newest methods is Quick Response Codes or QR Codes for short. These small, square 2-dimensional barcodes that are now found anywhere from magazines to movie posters, allow you to download information by scanning the barcode. Originally developed in Japan in the mid-90's they have been showing up in the U.S. more frequently over the last two years. QR Codes are easily scanned with an app on most all modern smart phones via the built in camera [iPhone, Android, Windows 7, Blackberry], they are not only for the tech savvy, but were designed to be used by everyone. The code is then quickly translated and often will lead to a web page that offers more information on the item associated with the code. Savvy marketers are using codes to hide coupons akin to an Easter egg hunt for tech-conscious shoppers. As major tech retailer Best Buy has found, it's also a great way to educate consumers and give them more information to help make an educated purchase without the need to wait for a salesperson to become available, they are also provided with content to take with them. As seen in the lower left corner, the QR Code will in-turn link to a page specific to that item, a digital camera in this case, and give the consumer even more information about it that wouldn't normally fit on the small sales brochure. Best Buy has gone a step further, actually taking up some of their valuable floor space to educate consumers on QR Codes and why they should use them. Because the in-home market is such a large part of marketing campaigns, Best Buy has even started to include QR Codes in sales brochures. By doing this, the consumer can easily scan the code with their smart phone and get more in-depth information about what's currently on sale. Folding up and taking sales brochures with you to the store is now a thing of the past, everything is readily and easily available on your smart phone. Here's a video of just how quick and efficiently QR codes work with an iPhone and a Best Buy sales flyer: Some sample QR codes that you can scan are here: QR Codes are changing the flow and availability of information, for the better. Consumers now have more information available to them without the need to be computer savvy or technically inclined and marketing departments have better, more efficient ways to deliver their messages. Were you aware of what these funny squares were before reading? How have you, or will you utilize these codes moving forward, now that you know there is much more to them then just a seemingly random array of black squares?

About the Author



IOGEAR enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic getaways. While not traveling, IOGEAR enjoys a great game of shuffle board whilst playing the banjo.