QR Codes and Their Role in Gift Card and Loyalty Programs
QR codes, or quick-response codes, are a type of technology used by retailers. They are also known as 2D codes and matrix codes. QR codes are frequently used in Asia and Europe, but they’re fairly new on the scene in North America. QR codes are similar to the bar codes on product labels that cashiers scan at supermarkets, except they can be scanned by cell phones. Companies can put whatever information they want inside of QR codes.
QR codes basically link information that’s online to a mobile device. For example, you can scan a QR code with your mobile phone and be taken to a website, video, or other type of online content. An increasing number of product manufacturers are incorporating QR codes into their advertising and packaging. So, when a consumer scans the QR code of a product they find on a store’s shelf, they’re connected to the brand and are assisted along the path to purchase. Retailers that use QR codes collect information about customers, determining which QR codes they scanned, when they scanned them, and what actions they took afterwards.
Integrating a QR Code System with a Loyalty Program
QR codes can be integrated with your loyalty program database. QR codes allow your customers to enroll in your loyalty programs instantly, give them an incentive to visit your store, and enable you to learn more about your customers and what makes them tick.
With a point-of-sale software plug-in, a QR code can be printed at the bottom of every receipt along with a call-to-action encouraging customers to scan the QR code. When customers scan the QR code, they can be automatically enrolled in your loyalty program and begin earning rewards. Furthermore, the QR code automatically links customers to a mobile web app that enables them to administer their loyalty program account. When customers accumulate points and earn rewards, all they have to do is scan the QR code on the bill to apply their loyalty credit. The bill is then adjusted in real-time.
Studies have shown that the use of QR codes helps retailers increase revenues by 5-10% by increasing frequency and spend per visit. Moreover, customers involved in loyalty programs tend to promote them to their friends and family, which helps companies attract new customers and more loyalty program members.
Track Consumer Behavior from Start to Finish
QR codes enable retailers to track consumers’ behavior BEFORE they buy something. After consumers leave the store, retailers can follow up with the shoppers that scanned their QR codes by sending surveys and promotional offers. Overall, tracking QR codes enables retailers to connect with their best customers in more meaningful ways.
QR codes essentially allow merchants to open up a dialogue with their customers. With QR codes thrown into the mix, it’s no longer just about making random promotional offers – it’s about building and maintaining long-term relationships with customers by assisting them from the pre-purchase stage to the post-purchase stage.
QR codes allow you to create fully-customized loyalty programs, distribute mobile coupons, and send automatic birthday gifts. Best of all, customer can engage with QR codes on a self-serve basis. QR code-based loyalty programs will continue to grow in popularity and help companies gain a huge competitive advantage in years to come.