Have you ever noticed the little square of black dots that are appearing everywhere on brochures, business cards, posters and newspaper articles? I have to admit that when I saw them first I thought they were some sort of optical illusion or cryptic puzzle.What they are in fact are QR codes which stands for Quick Response. The codes when scanned grant the user instant access to online information with no need to type in URLs or search words. A little group of dots can contain a link to the most relevant and pertinent information.The potential for the use of QR codes in the retail enviornment is only starting to be realised now.Product information can be obtained by scanning the item’s barcode with a mobile device such as a smart phone.The information that can be retrieved from the QR code is far more detailed and informative than even what the best trained salesperson can offer.
The scanning process can take the consumer to pages of important information that describe the product and anything about it that the consumer may be interested in.Of course the data provided by the retailer can be filtered and what is most relevant to the consumer may be chosen.Some people may prefer to watch a video whilst others might scan the text and read the product information.I recently came across the use of Qr codes in a zoo where there were links to videos of the animals in their natural habitats which provides a more interactive and deeper experience for the visitors.Obviously similar experiences can be created by retailers of physical products.
As usual at Tom Murphy Menswear we have been quick to adopt new forms of technological innovation to improve the retail experience of our customers.We have created QR codes for about 20 percent of the overall product offering and the plan is to have up to half our products QR coded by 2014.
This means that a wealth of product information can be accessed immediately by our customers. The origin of the brand, the material it is made from and the instructions are already on the label but the QR code can take you to a place where you can see a whole lot more. For example the QR code on all the suits in the store will take you to a page which shows the other colours it is availble in,how it looks on a model and the recommended shirts it can be worn with.We even provide videos on some codes showing a particular brands headquarters and how they make a garment.In other words a whole new retail experience can be opened up for the comsumer. In fact the consumer can be helped with the decision making process by ; a)-gaining more information, b)-saving the information onto their phone and making a less pressurised,more informative desicion later on in the comfort of their office or home.
Customers often come to browse and having seen a product go home to think about it. When a products QR code has been scanned it saves automatically onto the users phone,thus ensuring a permanence that is invaluable to the retailer.The lads in our wedding suit department are finding the whole process very helpful as this is an area of the business where customers rarely make up their minds on the spot.In the recession a tool such as this is invaluable for retailers and should be embraced wholeheartedly so our advice is to get out the smartphones and get scanning folks!