Global mobile commerce revenue is projected to reach $3.56 trillion in 2021, exhibiting a 33.8% y-o-y rate. While mCommerce is on the rise, shopping online on mobile can pose hurdles for customers. eCommerce companies need to simplify the online shopping experience. Furthermore, they need to find ways to bridge the online-offline gap to create an omnichannel shopping experience for their customers.
Here’s where QR codes can help. Let’s look at five creative ways eCommerce brands can implement QR codes in their business models.
Direct Customers To Your eCommerce Site Or Social Media
One of the most popular applications of QR codes is bridging the online-offline gap. With QR codes, you can direct customers to your eCommerce website.
Gone are the days when online shoppers shopped only online, and offline shoppers spent all their time in brick-and-mortar stores. We live in the era of omnichannel – the integration of online and offline experiences. Therefore, it’s crucial to target offline customers.
QR codes allow you to bridge the gap. You can include a customized QR code on your offline marketing materials like billboards, banner ads, newspaper ads, brochures, etc. Link the code to your website or a particular product page. Upon scanning, users will be able to reach your website without manually entering your site URL. The QR Codes can be generated using an online QR Code Generator and support a variety of customizations such as colors, size, shape, or even branded logos.
Similarly, you can bring more traffic to your social media profiles or your deeper media channels. In this interconnected world, eCommerce companies can’t ignore social media. 87% of eCommerce shoppers consider social media to be a major influencer in their buying decision.
Place a QR code and link it to your most popular social media handles. People will be able to scan the code and connect with you without typing your username on different social media websites. Similarly, direct people towards your podcast or your YouTube channel. Podcasting, as an example, has long been shown to generate extremely loyal audiences. eCommerce is one of the most effective and direct ways to make money from a podcast or any other content channel.
Put QR Codes On Product Packaging
The retail world has already embraced the concept of including QR codes on product packaging, and e-tailers are also following those footsteps. Including QR codes on product packaging can go a long way in boosting post-purchase engagement – something eCommerce retailers gravely need.
It’s a common practice to include a QR code on the product package and link it to in-depth product information. Here’s how The Hershey Company used QR codes on product packaging to deliver in-depth product information. Upon scanning the code, customers would reach Hershey’s website, where they could learn more about the manufacturing, ingredients, and logistics of the product.
The use of QR codes on product packaging isn’t limited to sharing product information. You can also direct customers to discount coupons and deals. The QR code can lead to a product landing page with a discount already applied. Else, customers can scan the code and unveil an alphanumeric code that they can use in a future purchase.
In 2016, the US Postal Service launched the Mobile Shopping Promotion campaign. The mailers were asked to add a QR code on their mail letters and other print materials in exchange for a discount. The code would lead the users to an online store where they could make a purchase.
Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store
Buy Online, Pick Up Later (BIOPIS) is a shopping method that allows shoppers to buy items online and pick them up later from the store instead of getting them delivered to their home. It’s ideal for customers who probably live alone and may not be available to receive the delivery. BIOPIS allows such customers to buy online and then pick up the items whenever they want.
eCommerce retailers offering BIOPIS services can use QR codes to provide a seamless and inclusive experience to their customers. QR codes can help customers get real-time local inventory visibility. They can scan the QR codes present in the app to locate the exact spot and shelf in the store where their product is kept. Contrarily, the store can also send the code via email or SMS.
The customer can walk into the store with the product QR code on their smartphone. The store employees can scan the code and locate the product instantly. This can help save a lot of time for both the employee as well as the customer.
Therefore, if you’re an eCommerce owner who wants to merge online and in-store experiences, QR codes can be of great help.
Online fraud is on the rise. KPMG conducted a survey and found that more than 50% of respondents had experienced an increase in external total fraud volume and value. When it comes to online fraud, deception via online payments remains to be a common reason. Shoppers end up sharing their bank and card information, and scammers leverage this data to steal money.
Given the increasing number of embezzlement cases, shoppers are looking for safe and secure payment methods that don’t expose their sensitive details. QR codes for online payments are gaining massive popularity, as they offer a secure, hassle-free payment experience to the users. Nowadays, almost all popular e-wallet applications use a QR code API to integrate QR code scanning functionalities in their apps. Users can scan a payment QR code via the app and make the payment without entering any personal information or bank details.
For micropayments (payment for small amounts), users don’t even need to enter a PIN. Before making the payment, users need to add money to the wallet via internet banking or credit card. In a QR code payment, the money is deducted from the wallet account, with no involvement from the bank side. This makes the transaction entirely secure.
You can put up a QR code on the checkout page and enable customers to pay directly from the wallet. However, the use of QR code payments is more common when customers opt for cash on delivery. Instead of paying in cash, the customer can pay via an e-wallet. The delivery executive can carry a QR code that allows the customer to scan and pay.
Mobile Layaways – Save Now, Buy Later
Mobile layaways enable customers to save items that they intend to buy later. It’s ideal for eCommerce businesses that sell both online and offline. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can put up a QR code with every product. Your customers can scan and save the code. Later, they can use the product to either shop online or locate the same product in the store.&This feature is helpful in busy shopping seasons when a lot of items are not available in the stores. Mobile layaways using QR codes can allow customers to make reservations for a product in advance.
QR Codes and eCommerce Brands In Action
Let’s look at some brands nailing their eCommerce strategy with QR codes.
Shopcodes by Shopify are one of the classic examples of how you can incorporate QR codes in your eCommerce strategy. The eCommerce giant allowed Shopify business owners to generate Shopcodes – a unique type of QR code – for any product they sell. Customers can scan the codes using the Shopcodes app and reach the attached product page. Since Shopcodes are traceable and unique, businesses can get real-time insights into traffic and sales.
Levi’s, a fashion clothing brand, came up with a unique approach to using QR codes. The brand incorporated a QR code on each of their products and marketing campaigns. Customers had to download Levi’s app, in which they got three options: scan, search, and favorite.
If the users chose to scan, they could scan the code on the product’s tag and add it to the cart in the app. After adding all the products, they could simply check out inside the app using PayPal, ApplePay, or credit/debit card and take the products with them. This significantly reduced the number of time customers had to spend in the store for billing.
The eCommerce giant Amazon has incorporated QR codes in its business model. QR codes, when conglomerated with eCommerce, can result in amplified customer experiences.
Amazon came up with Amazon Go, an initiative that redefined the grocery shopping experience. The company set up Amazon Go stores, which were pretty much like any other grocery store, but they had no staff. Customers had to download and sign in to the Amazon app. The app would generate a unique QR code for each customer, and the customer could enter the store by getting the code scanned.
Inside the store, customers could pick up items from the store. Each item had a unique QR code, which, when scanned, would automatically be added to the virtual cart in the Amazon app. Once the customers had completed their shopping, Amazon would send them a receipt. Customers could make the payment online and leave the store with the purchased items.
eCommerce has traditionally been an online-only endeavor for most companies. But with the line between online and offline retail gradually diminishing, businesses need to offer integrated experiences to their customers.
QR codes bridge the online-offline gap and enable you to provide a seamless experience to your customers. Hence, eCommerce companies that want to offer omnichannel shopping experiences should implement QR codes in their business models.