8 seconds. That’s the amount of time you have to capture your audience’s attention. And, once you have it, you want to keep it, right?
In today’s digitally driven world, consumers expect to find what they’re looking for as soon as they hit search on their smartphones. People will quickly lose interest in your brand, product or service if they’re forced to type in your website’s URL or navigate through dropdowns to find what you’re promoting.
The solution? QR (Quick Response) codes.
QR codes are matrix barcodes that have seen a resurgence with COVID-19 and the need for contactless services. It goes without saying that today’s technology is far more advanced than when QR codes hit the market in 1994. QR codes are now more affordable and even easier to implement into your business’s advertising campaigns. (More than 80% of Americans own smartphones and there’s no need to download a third-party app – any smartphone camera can read a QR code!)
Researchers estimate QR code coupon redemptions will surge to 5.3 billion in 2022, so the time to embrace Quick Response technology is now!
Here are 10 ways you can use QR codes to give your business a competitive edge, reinvigorate your advertising campaign and add “convenience” to the list of services your business provides. Link a QR code to:
1. Business Information
Your business’s schedule may change frequently with shifts in consumer demand. A QR code connects customers to your most current business information at anytime from anywhere. QR codes can direct users to your location, hours, changes to your operating procedures and more. Some software also supports automatic dialing of your business phone number from a scanned QR code.
2. Menu of Products/Services
Provide customers with a mobile version of your menu with a scan of a QR code. This use of Quick Response technology is popular with restaurants trying to reduce the need for paper menus and face-to-face interaction between staff and patrons. Your business can utilize these codes in the same way, giving guests the freedom to peruse a digital list of your products/services before placing orders or making payments.
3. Online Reservations Portal
50% of consumers surveyed prefer setting appointments digitally. But before the pandemic, only 23% of small businesses had an online reservation system. Now, as more businesses accept customers by appointment only, providing a means for your customers to book appointments online can increase your business’s revenue by 37% while giving customers what they want – it’s a win-win!
4. Online Ordering
Quick Response technology makes the shopping experience seamless. Initially created to assist with inventory tracking, matrix barcodes are an essential part of e-commerce. Brick-and-mortar stores that don’t have inventory in stock can use QR codes to order from a third party. Set up a QR code linking to your online store or product page so customers can make purchases from their smart devices.
5. Capture Customer Data
The more information you have about a customer, the better. Link a QR code to an online form that captures additional customer details, such as email address or “how’d you hear about us?” Then use this new information to nurture customers through the sales process and in future advertising campaigns. If you own a lawn care or home services business, add an additional field where potential clients can upload an image of their repair or service need. This will help you determine the scope of work and prioritize whom to contact first based on potential revenue.
6. Send a Message
71% of consumers expect companies to communicate with them in real time. Implementing a chat feature on your mobile website can be a game changer. Pairing a QR code with a chat function will enable you to answer customers’ questions and provide instant customer service. If your business doesn’t have a chat feature, you can link a QR code to your business email or text.
7. Social Media Platforms
Be among the early adopters of Quick Response technology for social media marketing. Link a QR code on your printed ad to one of your social media pages (instead of listing your handle). Encourage consumers to visit your page to enter a promotion or to share photos of their experience with your business. It’s a cost-effective way to increase social followers and engagement with your channels.
8. Online Review Sites
55% of consumers will look at a company’s online reviews before making a purchase. So more than ever, your online reputation directly impacts the success of your business. That said, collecting reviews is a pain point for many businesses. Use a QR code to drive traffic to your business profile on Google or popular review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and TripAdvisor. It may be the push a customer needs to leave a positive review!
Combining digital marketing and print advertising is an effective way to get the highest return on your ad spend (37% of consumers surveyed searched online for more info after receiving direct mail). Placing a QR code on your printed ad that links to your valpak.com business profile page will extend the shelf-life of your offer.
10. Contactless Payment
One of the most important uses of QR code technology today is for contactless payment. Consumers continue to be uneasy about physically swiping, inserting or handing their card to a cashier to pay for goods or services. Scanning QR codes in mobile wallets and apps (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.) provides a safer, no-touch alternative. The payments are instant, secure and easy to set up!
Advertising with QR Codes
Regardless of your industry, QR codes can differentiate your brand from the rest of the pack. While you will stand out, you won’t stand alone: Valpak marketing reps are on hand to answer your questions and help you get ahead of the curve.
Contact your local Valpak office to get started and we’ll walk you through how you can reach thousands of consumers in your community every month.