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Guide | November 11, 2021

Top Proven Ways eCommerce Uses QR Codes To Bring Users Back

QR Codes (With the QR standing for Quick response) are the norm today, with their presence being seen everywhere since the break of the pandemic. But do you know, QR Codes used to be considered a fad a decade ago? In the period between 2010 and 2015, QR Codes is the topic for many hot debates among marketers and business owners about their true efficiency.

The year is now 2021 (and soon to be 2022). The ubiquity of smartphones has nudged a post-pandemic world to a state of digital and convenient-first. Today, QR Codes are used for several purposes, from Vaccine passports, check-in for medical records, and most importantly, buying items online.

More than a fad, QR Codes are now an inevitable trend that most countries are now applying in several industries, from banking, telecommunications to eCommerce. It can be applied in transaction processing, marketing, operating, and managing. Let’s discover how it helps boost revenue for merchants and how eCommerce big players leverage the power of QR Codes in the real business landscape.

QR Codes - a quick guide

qr codes in ecommerce application

QR codes may have been a fad once, but that doesn’t have to be the case the second time around.

QR codes are machine-readable codes typically used for storing URLs or other information that can be accessed by the camera on a smartphone. Depends on the device you use and the details that the QR Codes lead you to a website, call a number, read a message, etc. The potential of QR Codes is proven better than ever thanks to the development and ubiquity of smartphones. 

A QR Code works in the same way as a Bar Code on products. It is used to be scanned and interpreted by another device. It speeds up the information-gathering process and eliminates any error in the way. As a mobile-friendly tool for the “always-on” consumer, data shows the use of QR codes is on the rise, too. According to a study from Shopify:

  • 59% of shoppers in the US believe they will use QR codes permanently.
  • 54% of shoppers aged 18 to 19 reported using QR codes at least once in the past three months.
  • 11 million people around the globe scanned a QR code in 2020.
  • 18.8% of US and UK consumers strongly agree they’re seeing an increase in QR code use.

QR Codes are proven their efficiency in today’s business landscape - let’s see top proven ways it brings users back to eCommerce stores.

QR Codes encourage customers to leave product reviews

In our previous article, we know that consumers LOVE reviews - According to BigCommerce, 91% of people read them before making a purchase and 84% trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation. Based on a Report in 2021, the average customer is willing to spend 31% more on a retailer that has excellent reviews.

How do you create a strategy that gets customers to review more? Read it HERE

So, how do you encourage customers to review more? First thing to do is to erase all the little inconveniences that may bother them in the process of leaving feedback. These can be long loading time, complex UI or worse - a hard-to-find review section. 

This is where a QR code comes in. If you’re selling a physical product, include a QR code on the product’s price tag, along with instructions on how to use it. With a simple smartphone scan, the customer can then be directed right to the page where they can review the product.

QR Code power payments on both eCommerce website and local stores

Another thing a worry-free shopping experience must provide since the pandemic is a diverse choice of payment. While you need to know which method your customers love the most, you also have to provide the convenience they want so that they’ll convert.

A great example of this is the retail giant Amazon. To keep up with fellow competitors like Google and Apple, Amazon has launched QR Code-based payment systems for retail stores. Now, besides adding wallet balance and linking bank account for quicker online shopping, customers can make payments at local retail stores using Amazon Pay.

QR Codes promote cashback and discount offers

QR Codes embedded with promotion and cashback not only help customers save a few bucks but also encourage customers to shop more. Besides, shop owners have the chance to build credibility and a loyal customer base thanks to the word-of-mouth or marketing campaign involving KOLs: a win-win deal for everyone involved.

QR Codes get data from customers 

The policy of getting customers’ data is becoming stricter and stricter than ever, with the current changing data privacy policies from tech giants like Facebook and Google. Third-party data is largely off the table in 2021. Today, we must leverage and build our own database of data, also called first-party data. 

While this data comes right from the source: your customers, collecting it can cause annoyance or a sense of being invaded if you are too pushy with all the pop-up tabs, obsessive re-marketing chasing them from platforms to platforms, or the like.

Meanwhile, collecting first-party data is simple with QR codes. As they are now a popular digital touchpoint, you can easily track customer behavior from pre-purchase to post-purchase. What’s more, you can use the collected first-party data to retarget the same customers on social media and via search engines, which greatly reduces the need to rely on costly third-party data.

QR Codes drive website traffic

QR codes are the perfect tool for any business to head their traffic to a specific landing page. Doing so encourages a large number of potential customers to take a very specific action that nudge them further into the customer’s journey. With a good landing page, relevant CTA, and clear process, you have a better chance at winning the customers.

Note: When using QR codes for this purpose, make sure to deploy unique, trackable links (also known as UTMs). Using this helps your marketing department accurately measure the impact that the QR-code-powered marketing efforts have on conversions.

QR Codes maintain product transparency

This is what Amazon has been doing since early 2015 and yield much success fro it. The brand launched a private label for a range of supplements and vitamins with all product labels consisting of a unique code. These Amazon elements code was designed to inform customers about product ingredients and promote transparency.

At the rise of organic food, maintaining product transparency is an excellent way for eCommerce businesses to gain a competitive advantage over companies that anonymously sell products online. 

Wrap up

At the moment, the world’s biggest eCommerce store is already incorporating QR codes into its online offering with its own version of Amazon’s QR codes called a SmileCode. That code can take customers from an Amazon magazine to a product page. In the future, it’s not a fantasy to see Amazon add the codes to its product packaging as a way of marketing and customers engagement. The retail giant has turned its boxes into ads more than once before (with bright yellow Minion-themed boxes back in 2015, or the red Greatest Showman boxes from a few months back). The eye-catching color has given customers a consistent, repeatable way to turn those boxes into a clickable link of sorts. And if you don’t care to scan it? Then it’s just another Amazon logo on the box.

 SmileCode can take customers from an Amazon magazine to a product page.

The world’s biggest eCommerce store is already incorporating QR codes into its online offering with its own version of Amazon’s QR codes called a SmileCode.

Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba or TV networks are also implementing eCommerce-focused QR codes. This trend is inevitable, but you need to have your priorities straight when integrating QR codes into your eCommerce offering. Do you want it to contribute to your customer experience strategy or will it become a branding tool just like Amazon is doing? Are the codes easy to access, optimized, and relevant to the users?

QR codes may have been a fad once, but that doesn’t have to be the case the second time around. In other words, make sure you are using them to improve the shopping experience for your consumer, and not just because they are eCommerce’s next shiny object — again. 

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