As one of the first retailers to create a more virtual shopping experience in Korea, Tesco have been ahead of the curve. They have just launched an F&F pop-up shop for the Jubilee in London’s Covent Garden, which will be open until the end of the Jubilee weekend. Users can try on clothes in the store, but can’t take them home there and then. That’s because the shop has no tills. Instead, users scan a QR code and pay through their online site for collection the following day from the nearby Tescos or home delivery in 2-3 days. Alternatively, there are iPad pay points, which customers can to make their purchases.
This is a question I am often asked by people who don’t work in advertising agencies (ad agencies like to assume that most people do scan codes). The answer to that question is … well, it depends. Or if you want to put a figure on that, it’s 14.5% of Smartphone users in Europe scan QR codes, according to comscore. That’s not a lot of people (say, 7% of the population), but it appears to be growing. I have blogged extensively about how and when codes should be used, but an interesting set of stats from the research company confirm that print – magazines and newspapers – is the most used media (50% of scans). Next most used was packaging at 38% and websites (strangely) at just under 29% of scans.
As with any technology, QR has it’s place (it’s place seems to be in print and packaging) and both the engagement and audience must be correct. I have conveniently split some examples into QR Fail and QR Success on Pinterest if you want to see how best to use them or see the comscore stats for more info.
Perhaps it isn’t the most original of uses, but here’s an example of QR being used well. This is a point of sale display for a molecular cooking set (yes, thanks to the Heston Blumenthal influence they really do make these). I have previously blogged about the need to get the context, engagement and targeting right for QR. This meets all those requirements.
The QR code is used is nice and large, on a high contrast background. There’s plenty of dwell time as it’s in the kitchen department of Selfridges where people spend plenty of time. The engagement is pretty good, as it links to a useful video to explain how this new product works. It’s also well targeted. Those interested in molecular cooking are likely to be techie, probably have smartphones and will probably bother to scan the code.
Now that smartphones are becoming ubiquitous, there is plenty of evidence that consumers are using their devices to check prices, availability and other information. Many retailers and retail brands are missing out as they are largely failing to engage with these users. This is an example of how that engagement could be done.
Following the much touted success of Tesco Korea’s Homeplus service, PayPal have followed suit by launching a similar effort in Singapore. The pilot scheme takes advantage of the WiFi in Singapore’s subways, not to mention the 70% smartphone penetration that the country enjoys. The company explained their ambitions in a recent blog post. Although QR has generally been poorly received by consumers, and badly implemented by brands, Tesco set a precedent by using the technology to deliver their service to a very tech-savvy and connected audience. Maybe PayPal will manage the same thing in Singapore …
What’s wrong with this picture? Well, if you look at the enlarged version of this poster there’s a QR code at the bottom. Did they really think that whilst having a pee, someone would get out their smartphone and scan the code? What if I accidentally aimed the camera down a little bit much? How would I explain that photo to my partner! That aside, using your camera in a men’s toilet would probably get you arrested (I had to make sure the toilet was empty before I took this photo). Well done the Highways Agency, a government organisation. Oh, and the title of the poster? ‘Be Wise’. Something that clearly, they didn’t do when thinking about their QR code.
I’ll make an FOI request to find out how many people scanned the code. If you want to know how to do QR without getting your users arrested, then see my guide to the perfect QR campaign here.
Here’s the problem. How do ad agencies find good digital creatives these days? German agency Sholtz and Friends decided that pizzas could provide the answer. Working with a pizza deliver company, Croque Master, they came up with the ‘Pizza Digitale’. Whenever someone from a rival agency ordered from the company, they were sent a complimentary pizza with a QR code imprinted in tomato sauce. Scanning the code took the user to Sholtz and Friend’s hiring page. Did it work? Well they got 12 applications out of it and hired two staff. When you consider how much it costs to go via a recruitment agency, that was a good result. It’s certainly not the first time someone has used food to create a QR code, but the company still got a nice bit of PR for the agency.
Of course with QR it’s all about getting the context, engagement and targeting right. Click here to find out how to deliver the perfect QR campaign.
Looking for more creative QR campaigns? This great campaign puts QR on cardboard to raise awareness and money for the homeless. You can find even more campaigns here on Mashable , or some creative QR examples here on Mobile Inc.