QR codes in retail work best on on product packaging and labels so the consumer to quickly scan them for convenient shopping and browsing. The possibilities exceed what products are available in the store alone. In addition, sharing augmented reality (AR) experiences with consumers inspires them to create new looks, decorate differently, compare alternatives, and give other people they know referrals to brands they like, especially by posting on social media. Incorporating QR codes into any digital marketing campaign will only increase the convenience for the company as well as the consumer.

Benefits of Using QR Codes in Retail

1. It's simple to put anywhere

There are many creative places to put retail QR codes in smaller shops and larger retailers for the convenience of the staff and the shoppers. Place QR codes on tags, in different departments, at the cash register, and even in public places that show adverts to direct consumers to m-commerce shops and more.

2. It's convenient for the mobile shopper

Mobile shopping has increased every year and is expected to continue to rise in 2021. Since retail QR codes are scanned from mobile phones, shoppers need the ease of making quick purchases from mobile-optimized virtual stores. Being able to compare prices, sizes, colors, and reviews, these shoppers will buy from the best source. Have tutorials that make the products look fun to try for more customer interaction.

qr code video tutorials for palette in store
Image source: fixturescloseup.com

3. It can be updated without reprinting

Whether updating a digital marketing campaign or adding to an e-commerce shop, dynamic QR codes are a versatile option for making edits as frequently as necessary. The physical QR code does not have to be reprinted unless you choose to create a new one. You can create beautifully designed codes that last as long as you want with your brand and logo for brand recognition.

4. It can easily be shared between users

Whereas printed materials alone get tossed in the bin, consumers can share QR codes between mobile phones, expanding brand awareness. Review42.com says 92% of shoppers trust recommendations by someone they know and 83% of US online shoppers are influenced by friends' social media posts. Digital experiences also give a more in-depth representation than one-dimensional adverts that can't be sent or posted by a smartphone.

5. It is not just limited to one retail type

Anyone from any type of retail industry can use QR codes to enhance their digital marketing campaign, attract followers to social media, and connect codes to their e-commerce stores. It's fast and easy for users to design and fulfills a wide range of uses (below) to encourage people to choose your brand.

Applications of QR Codes in Retail

1. Give out prizes for FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) to boost brand loyalty

Pair up with a local festival, movie theatre, musician, or another retailer to give out prizes like a song download, item to try, or event ticket, for a valuable addition to the consumer's purchase. Or even give out free products to try straight from your product collection. Add a QR code to product packaging that allows consumers to save up points and redeem them for the prizes later on. Saving up the points will keep customers coming back and build brand loyalty.

2. Utilize retail QR code inventory

When shop attendants are unavailable, especially during peak hours and holiday seasons, it works well to place QR codes on clothing and other merchandise tags to pull up back stock and sizing immediately. This is especially useful for heavier items like furniture that are always distributed straight from the warehouse.

hand on mobile scanning QR code on jeans tag
Image source: Fashionbi

3. Sell on virtual stores

Offer an m-commerce site linked to a QR code to promote online shopping. Having a user-friendly mobile-optimized virtual store on the other end of a QR code will only benefit the brand and the consumer.

4. Navigate customers in-house

Place a QR code on advertisements in magazines and on tags so consumers can find the place it is displayed in larger stores. QR code inventory is very useful for staff and employees. Many times random items get left in other sections of stores piquing a customer's interest but they have no idea where to find more, choose a different color, or find another size. Also, for items consumers have seen in the newspaper and plan to shop for in the week, they can scan a QR code to find the location and plan their trip in advance.

5. Promote discounts with virtual coupons

In place of the old paper coupons, have consumers scan QR codes in the store or in the newspaper so they can have them stored in one place in their phones in advance for easy checkout later in line.

How to Create a QR Code for Retail

Creating QR codes on Supercode is easy and takes seconds. Here is a quick guide on how to create retail QR codes to achieve your marketing and sales goals.

1. Choose the right type of QR code. Here are some of our suggestions:

  • URL QR Codes - perfect for sharing website content or sending customers directly to m-commerce sites and AR experiences.
  • Social Media QR Codes - ideal for brands wanting to connect with customers on a long-term basis. 
  • Feedback QR Codes - great for placing a QR code on materials to see how you can improve your products and customer service.
  • Email QR Codes - fantastic for questions regarding customer service, returns, or suggestions. 
  • SMS QR Codes - amazing for information that is necessary in an already prewritten SMS message. This code works everywhere as it requires no internet connection. Use these to allow customers to request exchanges or report issues with the products.
  • Plain Text QR Codes - best for making temporary discount codes and coupons. These codes are static and cannot be changed.
  • Bulk QR Codes - fantastic for creating many QRs at once for one-off scans like a promotion or discount.
  • Image QR Codes - the best way to show off new products with a CTA button.
  • WhatsApp QR Codes - the most efficient way to promote conversational commerce that has gained momentum over the past few years.
  • PDF QR Codes - perfect for providing customers with a lot of information without printing flyers.
Supercode different types of QR codes

2. Create a code

Creating a code on Supercode is easy and takes seconds. Choose the type, the link or the content to include and click on save when you are ready.

create a QR code on Supercode QR code generator platform

3. Modify the design

Design the QR code to match your branding guidelines and make your code attractive for customers.

modify design of a QR code on Supercode QR code generator platform

4. Add your QR code to a folder to organize your workspace

Add customizable categories for new folders in the Supercode dashboard. Or, add your new QR code to a preexisting folder, both of which you can share with your marketing and management teams.

save QR codes to different folders on Supercode platform

5. Test the code

Scan the code by directing your phone camera on it and check if all the content displayed is correct. To make changes, simply go back to the dashboard and edit the code.

bright colourful QR codes generated on Supercode platform

6. Print the code

Print the QR code on posters, packing, clothing tags, public displays, mailers, and any visible surface where it will stand out.

Supercode QR code printed on a business card

7. Track analytics

Track the QR code to measure the success of your digital marketing campaign on Supercode's analytics dashboard.

Supercode analytics dashboard with QR code scans performance

Learn how to create bulk QR codes with Supercode QR code generator.

Best Practices for Using QR Codes in Retail

1. Easy QR code payment system for shopping in any retail sector

The central banks in Cambodia and Thailand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to use QR codes for payment to promote the use of local currencies without hassle between both countries. It is an easy, secure, and innovative way for locals and tourists to pay who cross between both countries.

Asian lady scans QR code with mobile phone in vegetable aisle of grocery store
Image source: Construction Property

2. Customization of style

Nike has made a QR code that routes directly to their app, personalizing style and comfort for every customer. They also have placed QR codes on every shoe and paired up with the messaging system WeChat in China so customers can send images of products and submit them to Nike where they can respond with personalized shoe recommendations in colors of their choice.

download the app QR code app with nike male model
Image source: Nike

3. Item availability and versatility

H&M incorporated QR codes into their items to find out if another is available at a certain store, and what sizes and colors they offer. If an item is unavailable online they will send a notification to the user's phone.

Not only do they offer fantastic inventory information, they also offer discount and promotion QR codes for flash sales online!

hand holding phone with QR code for H&M app
Image source: Dan Higham

4. Persuade consumers to download your app

Waitrose, a John Lewis Partnership brand, created an app to make Christmas shopping easier than ever. This beautifully designed advert offers a clear call to action. When scanning the QR code, consumers directly connect to the app for convenience.

QR code waitrose app on christmas advert with mobile phone
Image source: Waitrose

5. Use multiple channels to drive sales

Starbucks shared a QR code of their app on Snapchat so consumers could have access to the app without having to download it to their phones. Their marketing strategy was to make things easier for consumers to drive sales, without pushing them too hard. Within 3 weeks Retail Dive reported that 27% of visitors to the app, (11,000 people), had downloaded it through that exact channel.

QR code on a mobile phone for starbucks app
Image source: Retail Dive


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