As shoppers continue to consult smartphones while in store for price and product comparison, Quick Response (QR) codes have become powerful marketing tools for sharing and promoting content in locations. By scanning codes on product labels, advertisements, signage and other target points, consumers can receive detailed product information, video demonstrations, rating/reviews and other influential content. As a result, retailers efficiently connect the dots between the web and brick-and-mortar stores by creating a more compelling, engaging and informative brand experience.
During 2011’s Black Friday weekend, Mandee, a girls’ apparel and jewelry retailer, implemented an in-store QR code coupon program that generated 8,000-plus redemptions in 115 stores over the three-day sales period.
The campaign randomly generated 15-50% discount coupons when shoppers scanned the codes. Additionally, the initiative produced a list of 45,000 qualified leads for a follow-up email program, and generated more than $400,000 in incremental sales during the weekend, according to Jan Harvey, Director of Marketing for Big M Inc., Mandee’s parent company. In total, the conversion rate was 94%, with shoppers scanning a QR code, opting in and/or entering their email for deal redemption.
“The holiday QR code campaign offered a platform that was instant and rewarding, allowing in-store customers to receive a digital coupon they could apply to purchases instantly,” Harvey said. “This readily-available incentive naturally increased purchase propensity and drove ‘add-to-baskets.’”
By partnering with DG3 Worldwide, a provider of web, social and mobile marketing solutions, Mandee successfully implemented two QR code campaigns. Prior to the Black Friday promotion, Mandee held a contest with the Fashion Institute of Technology. Students submitted designs, which were featured on in-store signage, along with scannable QR codes. Shoppers were encouraged to vote for their favorite designs by scanning its code; Voters received a discount while in the store, allowing Mandee to collect customer data and incentivize purchases.
“Mandee has a highly integrated marketing strategy that includes both established and emerging tactics,” Harvey said. “Mobile has been a critical part of that strategy for many years: In 2008, we were using text messaging technology in-store to provide discounts to customers and develop customer loyalty. Text messages have given way to QR codes, with even more advanced technology coming down the line. We will continue to leverage this mobile evolution to create more engaging in-store promotions and give our loyal customers what they want, when they want it.”
Using Mobile Marketing For Data Collection
By capturing in-store customer data, Mandee’s marketing team can analyze the browsing and buying behavior of shoppers, as well as the efficacy of mobilized promotions. Once the retailer receives information, shoppers are remarketed and nurtured across the customer lifecycle with in-depth content on sales, products and other information.
“Customers need to have a reason to engage on their mobile devices,” said Joe Lindfeldt, Executive VP of Strategic Development for DG3 Worldwide. “QR codes and the expanded information they provide encourage this engagement. Once shoppers connect with in-store promotions, retailers can capture key customer data and, in turn, can develop a long-term engagement with customers.”
Mandee and DG3 are continuing their relationship to formulate new mobilized campaigns, Lindfeldt reported. “Mandee is very sensitive to the user experience and to building a relationship with customers via mobile,” he said. “The focus now is on developing mobile engagement that is not event based, but is organic in nature, and consistently will reconnect with customers with fresh information and incentives.”
Mandee’s Next Big Step: Mobile Commerce and Payment
During the remainder of 2012, Mandee’s mobile initiatives “will become even more important, integrated and advanced,” Harvey reported. “This is largely due to our younger demographic, which is very tech-savvy and constantly on their mobile phones. We know they want to receive deals and information the way they primarily communicate – via mobile.”
Though Mandee will continue to improve QR code design and in-store integration, as well as store branding and marketing materials, the next big step is mobile commerce and payment, according to Harvey.
“We’re keeping an eye on the next generation of mobile marketing technology: Near Field Communication,” Harvey said. “It’s our job not only to stay ahead of our clients’ fashion sense but to respond to how they want to communicate and interact. With DG3’s help, we will be able to execute our integrated campaigns using the market’s most advanced and responsive technology platforms.”