With Christmas fast approaching, your thoughts could well be turning to what Santa might be bringing you. If you have been very good and are very, very lucky you might get a new iPhone (if you are an Android Lover....you’ve obviously been very naughty!). If so, you might not know that there’s a surprise lurking in your camera app.
As part of iOS 11, Apple decided to throw in a native QR code reader. You may remember Quick Response (QR) codes — super-charged barcodes — from the ‘noughties’, when they were heralded as the next big thing. Trouble is, they never caught on, at least not in Europe. The big issue was that to unlock the QR codes you had to download and install a special reader app...... then you’d have to take out your phone and open that app every time you wanted to scan a code.
This clunky extra step seemed to be the death-knell for QR codes and consign them to tech’s scrap heap, never to be seen again.
Apple’s decision late this year to release a native reader, however, changes things considerably. Now, the roughly 700 million iPhone users around the globe suddenly have a QR scanner integrated right into the camera app.
2nd Time Lucky for QR?
Maybe now, thanks to Apple. There is no doubt that they’re huge time savers. In a store and want specs on a product … or a promotion … or a cake? Just scan the code, simple.
But what makes QR codes even more appealing is, that simply linking out to plain old web pages is just the start. In Asia, for instance where they have always been huge, the codes are a cornerstone of the mobile payment system. It’s estimated that $1.65 trillion in transactions in Asia used QR codes in 2016 — almost a third of all mobile payments. In fact, this same QR technology is part of what powers the cashless, staffless Amazon Go store in Seattle.
Retail Marketing Applications
For multi-channel retailers and marketers, of course, the sky’s the limit. In store, QR codes not only enable instant payment options but can also trigger rich, multimedia experiences and initiate augmented reality functions. Lifestyle retailer Cath Kidston is already using this technology to provide in-store customers with a behind-the-scenes look at the brand’s story.
Also smart: all of this data is trackable. Metrics (visits, views, scans, etc.) can all be logged, and you can even track where and when users are engaging with the codes. When it comes to gauging the effectiveness of real-world marketing assets like billboards, flyers and print ads, being able to close the loop like this is exceedingly rare, not to mention exceedingly valuable.
And QR codes don’t have to look, well, ugly. Take Snapchat’s Snapcodes. Bright yellow, with a friendly ghost in the middle, the codes allow users to add friends, access websites and unlock filters when scanned with the app’s built-in reader. You might not even know they’re QR codes in disguise, but that is exactly what they are.
Here at Tempus, we have been helping customers power their marketing campaigns in all sorts of smart ways, so why not contact us to find out how we can help your super-charge your marketing collateral.