QR Codes: retail trends for 2015.
Purchasing methods and customers’ expectations are changing the way of shopping. The more farsighted retailers, alert to the new trends and the competition are finding increasingly innovative solutions to each customer’s experience unique and memorable.
The customers, especially those belonging to the Millennium Generation, are all in possession of a Smartphone and they use it to get information in order to realize the best possible buy. Therefore, retailers should invest in mobile technology to enrich the shopping experience and gain more customers.
The QR Codes are one of the many potential tools that allow to bring the offline experience close the online experience, they are useful to improve and simplify the shopping experience and retain customers’ loyalty.
Below you will find 3 suggestions on how to use the QR Codes in stores:
1. QR Codes can offer related, recommended or alternative products.
Using QR Codes makes it now possible to apply the online trade’s techniques also inside the shop.
The customer, already accustomed to online shopping, will be able to find out, using his Smartphone, the related, recommended or alternative products that the retailer can offer him.
So that after choosing, for example, a pair of pants, the customer can, by simply scanning the QR Code, browse a gallery of shirts, belts, sweaters and socks to match! He can also see one or more recommended products that are on sale or subject to some special promotion. Or, for example, in case the size of the chosen product isn’t available, he can find some alternative items.
2. QR Codes to prompt in-store and online purchase.
Many products, especially the article of clothing, still require a fitting at the shop before the purchase. It often happens that, after trying on the garment, the customer doesn’t purchase it and instead he searches for the product online (where maybe it’s sold at a better price) and realize the purchase on the e-commerce portal.
To prevent the "flight" of the customer and the loss of the sale, you can offer a coupon with a QR Code that links to your e-commerce portal’s URL. If you don’t have your own portal but you sell via those of the international players (Amazon, Alibaba, sBay, etc. ) you can link directly to the page of your item.
In case the customer has completed the purchase in the store, you can gain his loyalty for future purchases placing labels with QR Codes that give access to some online special offer. An effective discount policy will guarantee the customer’s loyalty online and in-store, but never forget to always deliver on time and offer a high quality customer service: no discount can satisfy a customer as much as the quality of the services you provide.
3. Automate the changing room fittings with the QR Codes.
How many times do your customers go into the changing room with the wrong size of pants and then they find themselves peeping through the curtains, in their underwear and socks, hoping for a clerk to give them assistance. The neglected customer has then to decide whether to leave the changing room half-dress, hoping not be seen while e grab his size in a hurry, or get completely dressed and return to the changing room that, in the meantime, has been taken by 4 wild teenagers with a pile of clothes to try! There goes the purchase…
Extremes aside, imagine the convenience for your customers to have an automated dressing room that, thanks to the use of the QR Codes placed directly on the products, allows them to change the garment’s size or request related products and receive them, without any effort, directly into the changing room.
In addition to offering an ultramodern shopping experience, it would allow you to optimize the personnel costs!
4. Use QR Codes to advertize products and build customer’s loyalty.
Next year’s trends require a greater effort for the retailers, who need to come up with more creative encouragement and reward methods. Therefore, in addition to granting some generic points, it will be necessary to include loyalty programs that reward the customers not only for their purchases but also for their actions and involvement. For example, if you own a drugstore your customers could earn points every time they engage in healthy activities such as walking, monitoring their weight and much more.
Moreover, to avoid adding yet another fidelity card to wallet you could make the customers collect points by using the QR Codes and their Smartphones. Discounts, promotional coupons, rewards and “points-per-purchases” programs are all activities that can be managed online and they allow:
- the customer: a quick, easy, safe and convenient control of the “fidelity card”
- the retailer: an in-depth customer profiling and the ability to offer targeted and customized products and promotions.