As even the most online-reluctant customer is interacting with brands and goods online one way or another, cross-platform sales is for most retailers crucial in order to secure future revenue. What we used to be able to call ‘the online world’ is now in need of refinement: What’s truly the definition online? We bring our online and connected devices with us everywhere and we’re integrating them into our offline world. Is there a offline world anymore? Everything is connected.
If used correctly, mobile bar codes (often known as QR-codes – Quick Response-codes) could play a big part in the online-offline integration process: Connecting the physical world with what we now call online, it’s an area which is rapidly growing. A mobile bar code is a bar code which is readable through a camera phone or a QR-bar code reader, and information such as a specific URL or text is then encoded – amongst retailers it’s common to direct the consumer to a landing page with product or price information. Mobile bar codes are quite unique in the sense that they can provide retailers with a extremely sales orientated pull-tool when the potential customer is far along in the purchase funnel. To take an example: BestBuy have integrated 2D bar codes in their offline stores so that customers can scan the codes and receive product information and campaign offers. However, as today’s different applications and technologies potentially can confuse the customer, the mobile bar codes face the challenge of making sure that they can be read by any mobile device.
The behavior to look up and compare prices online while shopping in an a offline store is getting more and more common, which means retailers need to look up: The products you’re selling will be found on many different platforms, make sure that you are able to compete on each one of them. (Both Amazon and eBay have developed applications which scan bar codes and directly compare product prices online.)
Be sure that – if used correctly – mobile bar codes have the capacity to rise conversion rate as well as brand interaction, it’s time to step up the mobile strategy and get going.