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Dick Smith Electronics taps QR codes for instant mobile transactions

August 12, 2013

Dick Smith Electronics is rolling out mcommerce

Dick Smith Electronics is rolling out a QR code-centered mobile commerce system to modernize the shopping experience.

In this new system, when a consumer scans a mobile bar code, she can buy an item immediately within the store’s mobile application. Dick Smith Electronics partnered with Sniip to create the scan-to-buy technology.

“There is a great, unexploited potential for time saving mobile technology to reconnect the retail world with the time-poor consumer,” said Lisa Hardie, head of marketing at Sniip, Australia.

“We wanted to bridge the gap between the traditional and online retail experience with quick, simple and convenient mcommerce technology,” she said. “We wanted to create the convenient tool that reconnects retailers to consumers, changing the way people shop through the most commonly used item in today’s digital world, the mobile device.

“What was clear was that there was an opportunity to give consumers of everyday purchases the type of experience that Apple gives theirs when buying on iTunes. People are time poor, so if we can give them the convenience of a secure transaction within a couple of clicks, retailers are more likely to secure their spending dollar.”

Dick Smith Electronics has more than 325 electronics stores across Australia and New Zealand.

The electronics merchant will be rolling out the scan-to-buy system starting Aug. 13 in both its bricks-and-mortar stores and in its catalogs and print advertising.

Wherever a consumer sees a Dick Smith QR code, he or she will be able to purchase that product, from any place and at any time.

Consumers can purchase the product by scanning this QR code

To scan the codes, consumers will have to download the Dick Smith mobile application, which will be available for free in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, starting Aug. 13.

Once users enter their payment and delivery details in their profile, it will be stored in the app. Then they simply click “Buy now” and confirm the details each time they want to make a purchase.

Consumers can also choose to add additional security measures by requiring a four-digit PIN before finalizing the transaction.

Dick Smith decided to implement a scan-to-buy system because that seemed like the quickest, easiest way to transact, per Ms. Hardie.

The company did not want to make consumers spend time going to a URL. Rather it wanted a purchase to be able to happen instantaneously.

Additionally, the scan-to-buy system lets Dick Smith Electronics measure return on investment and receive insights about consumers.

QR codes are most used to provide supplementary content in an advertisement, but Dick Smith Electronics and Sniip wanted to use the technology in a different way that would give a practical benefit to consumers.

The Dick Smith app

Mobile Australia
According to Nielson mobile penetration in Australia is increasingly growing, resulting in $5.6 billion worth of retail purchases by consumers on mobile devices in 2012. In 2012, that number was up by about $155 million.

Marketers in Australia are using mobile technology such as near-field communication to drive campaigns.

For example, Australian movie chain Hoyts tested an NFC pilot program that let consumers pay for food and drink items (see story).

Dick Smith seems to be catching on to this trend and giving mobile commerce a try.

“[Dick Smith] distributes over six million catalogs per week, which is designed to create desire for products and drive people in-store or online,” Ms. Hardie said. “But for many reasons, there is often a break in the link between desire and transaction, and the sale is lost.

“The Dick Smith app brings that print advertising to life and ensures that the gap between creating desire and making the purchase is bridged so that more sales are converted,” she said. “As the codes are specific to Dick Smith, they also keep the consumer in the Dick Smith world, as opposed to allowing someone to go online and search for that product elsewhere, or purchase in-store with a retailer that is more conveniently located.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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