Scan to like us on Facebook. Scan to get a 5% off. Scan to join our newsletter. Scan to see our exciting new video. Boring.
Marketers have created such bad experiences with mobile barcodes over the last few years that consumers are ignoring them. There is not a lot of recent research to support this other than observational. Have you seen the number of mobile barcodes decline in your magazines, in stores, on signage? You betcha but are they dead?
According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends speech at this year’s All Things Digital conference, the answer is no. Meeker points to a 4.5 times increase in QR Code scanning in China (slide 64). A closer look reveals that only a third of those scans are promotional or marketing related. The majority of the scans are transactional used by consumers to check-in, purchase an item, or to exchange information. Another example of mobile barcodes used to complete a transaction comes from the Australian company ExpressQ. Their system allows event goers to purchase items ahead of time and then skip the queue and pickup their items using a mobile barcode on their smartphone or from a print out.
Marketers and print service providers have to think beyond simple marketing gimmicks like those listed at the start and instead focus on mobile barcodes and platforms that provide a useful service for the consumer and business. If that means creating solutions like ExpressQ, the mobile barcode opportunity may be out of reach for most print service providers.
Note: The entire presentation is worth your time to flip through.