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Retailers generating some of the most scanned 2D bar code campaigns

April 19, 2011

Consumers are routed here after scanning the Home Depot code

As more consumers are becoming accustomed to scanning mobile bar codes, it is important that retailers integrate them into their traditional marketing efforts such as print, direct mail, catalog and out-of-home.

A recent Scanbuy study that tracked bar code trends from Jan. 1 – March 31 found that bar code scanning traffic increased more than 800 percent year-over-year, proving that consumers are willing to participate in promotions that are based on this technology. The retail industry is generating some of the most scanned 2D bar code campaigns, the study found.

“Ease of access at the time of the consumer desire is perhaps the most compelling benefit but there are many benefits to using mobile and QR codes,” said Laura Marriott, Denver-based CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, one of the industry’s bar code service providers. “QR codes, and mobile generally, essentially bring a traditional static media piece to life, allowing companies to target customers with tailored content.

“This results in instant interaction and higher consumer engagement,” she said. “It also allows the marketer to measure the effectiveness of the campaign on a more granular level by placing unique QR codes on different pieces, by geography, by offer, etcetera – and then have access into the specific success of each piece by reporting on each QR code.”

Besides NeoMedia, other companies that provide bar code services include Microsoft Tag, JagTag, Scanbuy and Augme Technologies to name a few.

Usage is up
Scanbuy’s bar code trend report also found that 2D bar codes overtook 1D bar codes in the three-month period ending March 31. That is a strong sign that retailers, marketers, publishers and users are increasingly adopting 2D bar codes, including QR codes.

Everyday products continue to deliver exactly half of all UPC scans from the ScanLife app, the company said in the report. Of the top 10 products scanned, beverages make up the majority.

“QR codes use only a fraction of the advertising inventory space, allowing brands to pack more information into a smaller space and gain better value for their advertising initiatives,” Ms. Marriott said.

“We have definitely seen a significant increase in marketers using mobile in the last few years – so much so that I don’t think we can even keep track of all of the brands that are incorporating this highly effective medium,” she said.

“The early-adopters are deploying mobile en masse and have committed to launching mobile departments within their organizations and allocating spend for mobile, as a line item, in their planning budgets.”

Use cases
Mister Landscaper has incorporated QR codes and an SMS call to action on the packages of its Micro Sprinkler Beginner’s Kits in 1,000 Lowe’s across the country to add value to the in-store experience by using mobile for customer service (see story).

Luxury retailer Barneys New York debuted its multichannel Backstage Black and White Spring 2011 campaign that spanned mobile, online, print, in-store and out-of-home advertising. Barneys deployed QR codes into both traditional and interactive media to add another dimension to the backstage experience (see story).

Simmons Bedding Co. rolled out an in-store QR tagging application to simplify the buying process for consumers as they shop for mattresses and bedding at JCPenney stores (see story).

The Home Depot rolled out a nationwide mobile bar code program to influence purchase intent in-store and drive consumers to its locations via digitally-enhanced direct mail pieces and print ads (see story).

“Marketers are also starting to embrace QR codes and the overall integration of incorporating scanning solutions into more handsets,” Ms. Marriott said. “In fact, marketers are beginning to understand that when executed properly, mobile bar code interactions can provide brands with measurable data, using valuable time, location and gender data in real time and on a code-by-code basis.

“This allows brands to focus their spend on the most profitable channels or media locations,” she said.

“The ability to measure and analyze the data generated by a campaign determines success rates and ROI, helping to shape future campaigns, make for better advertising purchase decisions and ensure optimal utilization and communication of their messages in the future.”

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

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