QR codes have suddenly become part of our daily lives. As consumers become more aware of the technology and comfortable with how to use it, businesses are taking advantage of the new opportunities opening up. And that, more and more, includes connected print such as Direct Mail, to create more seamless customer experiences.
Having struggled to previously gain broad usage in the UK, QR codes have become a key tool in managing COVID-19, with people now using them through necessity as part of the test and trace check-ins. Research conducted by software company MobileIron in August 2020 states that 35% of consumers in the US & EU had scanned one in the past week, and 10% in the last day.
QR codes’ moment is now, as brands look for ways to engage and connect with more users digitally.
Brands are continuing to improve consumers’ experiences by taking advantage of enhanced smartphone technology to create connected print by adopting QR codes for a wide range of uses:
- Ordering food in bars and restaurants
- Garden centres SmartPlant app using QR codes that identify plants and offer care advice
- John Lewis and Waitrose have introduced a QR based virtual queuing system
- Pret launched ‘YourPret Barista’, a coffee subscription service offering up to five drinks a day for £20 a month. Having purchased a subscription, users simply scan their QR code at the till.
- Klarna uses QR codes enabling users to ‘Pay Later’ or ‘Pay in 3’ when shopping in-store. Helping bridge the gap between digital and physical shopping to create a more frictionless experience.
- Finca Aniello, a winery in Argentina is even piloting a wine label with a QR code that can be scanned in order to play an audio description of the wine.
Using QR codes in Direct Mail. A quick and effective way to make campaigns more connected.
Now the opportunity exists to create connected print Direct Mail campaigns that further enhance your customers experience. With smartphone technology making mail more connected and even easier to measure.
QR code usage in Direct Mail is rising fast. Even in April 2020, before the impact of Covid-19 track & trace, 8.1% of direct mail advertising in the US contained a QR code, up from 3.2% a year earlier. This trend is now being reflected over here.
So where can you use a QR code. And what for?
QR codes can be used across a vast array of print materials. If you can print it, you can print a QR code on it. And with wider acceptance and usage, now’s a fantastic time to begin integrating QR codes into your activity and delivering a seamless experience that adds value to your customers. The following chart highlights multiple examples of printed materials that can carry a QR code, and the wide range of experiences the code can open up for your customers.
So as the above chart highlights, the opportunities are vast. You could go even further. Why not provide installation and/or assembly instructions? Share product information on provenance, your manufacturing process or environmental and sustainability credentials. Or encourage trial or purchase through offers and incentives.
Benefits of Connected Print.
Connected print delivers multiple benefits for brands:
- Provide valuable first party data, vital with the forthcoming restrictions on third-party cookies
- Create instant and low-cost digital experiences
- Boost education and awareness of your brand activities
- Boost engagement & brand loyalty through games, quizzes, videos, recipes and more
- Drive revenue through incentivised repeat purchase
Greater Tracking & Insight.
Connected experiences within Direct Mail campaigns offer richer insight and real-time performance analytics:
- Brands can interpret data usage and engagement from a wider range of behavioural, demographic and geo-location metrics
- It’s easy to report response & conversion rates and ROI
- Keep the C-suite informed on campaign performance at every stage, rather than just reporting the longtail effect
- Direct attribution through a digital CTA; QR codes can measure the impact of the mail channel
Phew! It’s an exciting area isn’t it? There’s so much potential to help you deliver enhanced, seamless customer experiences that only serve to drive deeper engagement with your brand.
To have a more detailed discussion about the best way to set up a connected print campaign, drop us a note or give us a ring. Let’s go!