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Mobile bar code scanning became mainstream this holiday season: Scanbuy

December 27, 2010

Scanningis on the rise

A recent poll by Scanbuy on Twitter and Facebook proves the influence that mobile bar codes are having for retail outlets trying to improve the customer shopping experience.

Consumers are using mobile bar codes while shopping over the holidays. The poll revealed that there is significant interest in using mobile bar codes while shopping, with more than half of those surveyed having scanned a bar code.

“All retailers should be adding a bar code scanning feature to their app if they haven’t already,” said Mike Wehrs, CEO of Scanbuy, New York. “This will allow them to customize an experience based on scanning behavior to deliver targeted offers or cross sell opportunities. 

“If the shopper gets a great deal in the store, they have no reason to go elsewhere,” he said. “Additionally, brands should be using 2D bar codes on print, catalogs, and other media before they even get to the store which could drive to the store with time sensitive deals or even offer a one-click purchase experience from the mobile device.” 

Scanning behavior
Of those surveyed, 57 percent scanning at least once, 40 percent scanned five or more times and 40 percent stated they have never scanned a bar code before, but would like to.

Another key finding of the study was that an overwhelming 97 percent of consumers found mobile bar codes useful in some capacity, with only 3 percent finding them “not very useful”

Price comparison was the most popular feature for consumers while shopping, with user reviews and specific product offers also getting strong interest

More than half of consumers said they would most likely scan a bar code to look up prices online, but some also like getting information without finding a sales clerk.

Over 60 percent stated they are most likely to scan bar codes (UPC and QR) from product packaging.

The iPhone was the device most used by respondents; with 34 percent of those surveyed saying that was the device they used.

Successful scanning
BlackBerry and Android were right behind at 29 percent and 27 percent each, respectively.

In line with the previous statistics released by Scanbuy since Black Friday, consumer use of mobile bar codes on the ScanLife platform has remained on average at 50 percent more than the pre-holiday run rate.

Target placed ScanLife codes in its holiday and toy catalog and saw fantastic response. 

The codes linked to videos about the hottest toys, and gave purchasing tips on categories from homeware to flat screen TV’s. 

The retailer also offered the option to save products to a mobile shopping list which helps the customer experience once they get to the store.

“Clearly scanning is something that most smartphone users are doing, or plan to do in the future,” Mr. Wehrs said. “As this sector continues to explode in 2011, retailers have to leverage this in a way that helps their customers whether they are in their store or not.”

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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