Quick Response (QR), codes were developed in Japan by Denso Corporation, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. They are intended to speed up the code reading process and allow for more data to be captured in one scan. They were originally developed to track parts of vehicles during manufacturing, but have since been adopted by all industries as a smart square for consumers. They are so common in advertising that you can spot them on almost any flat surface from magazines to company cars. What’s the deal? Consumers are missing out by taking less than a second to scan QR codes on advertisements from their favorite restaurant, store or service provider.
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A third-party barcode scanner, such as Google Goggles or App World, is required to decode the information. Qrafter is one of the readers that can generate codes. The QR code reader apps available for free, so the squares you see everywhere are easy to find. Most code readers can scan the squares and display text, open URLs, send email or text messages, establish geolocations, call other devices, and even make phone calls. Although some readers may not have all these capabilities, technology is improving to make codes easier to use. QR codes can be used to launch native Apple apps on Apple devices. They can also open instant messaging clients such as Skype. You can scan the code on an advertisement for a special deal or scan the code on a menu to see nutritional information. QR codes can be used by consumers to get discounts and speed up tasks such as punching loyalty cards. QR codes can be used to save time and make it easier for you to scan events into your smartphone calendar or check in at Krispy Kreme Rewards app.
Some technology experts question whether the codes are becoming obsolete. This is causing customers to hesitate about engaging with the source code’s source. The reason for this is that QR codes are no longer useful because smart phones can’t launch the associated website. Apps are becoming more popular than ever. As such, the efficiency of codes is increasing and so is the interest in them. Marketers will continue to use these codes in the future, but with more coherent goals and messages. Fluency with the dotsy squares could increase as customers become more familiar with QR codes and have a simpler reading experience.
Facebook’s Secret Strength in Offline Retail
Recently, the University of California San Diego and the Facebook Data-science team released results of a study that examined Facebook’s impact on offline activity. The study collected information from 61,000,000 Facebook users during the 2010 US Congress elections. It also sent an informal message encouraging all participants to vote. The message contained a link to the local polling places and a clickable button that said “I voted”. Both of these were tracked for activity. According to the study, those who received the message were 340,000 more likely than those who did not. The social media activity of the 10 closest friends of respondents was also a major factor in whether participants responded to the Facebook message. This study is the first to demonstrate how social media can impact real-world behavior.
These results show that Facebook can also play an important role in offline shopping trends. Although print, radio, and television ads have been the primary channels for retailers to attract shoppers for years, social media marketing is quickly becoming a must-have for retailers who want to increase foot traffic. Consistent calls for action across media channels ensure the best results. In the wake of the UCSD research, Facebook has been deemed a way to reach a wider audience with greater precision than other forms of advertising. According to James Fowler (UCSD political scientist), “The online social networking helps to quadruple its effect,” when multiple friends share or like it on Facebook.
Facebook users are more interested in sharing retail offers with their friends than they are responding to them. Facebook revealed that 75 percent of 100 most popular “offers” were claimed by people who saw them after they had been shared by friends, not the original person who found them. Facebook allows any piece of information to quickly become viral, whether it’s a deal or the reputation of a retailer. Users can also “like” music, brands, or products. This makes it easy for third-party marketers like ShopLocal to connect with local Facebook users to find potential shoppers.
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